Statement of Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, President, March of Dimes on the Release of CHIP Reauthorization Discussion Draft

Washington, District of Columbia | Friday, February 27, 2015

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Cindy Pellegrini

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The March of Dimes released today the following statement from President Dr. Jennifer L. Howse regarding the release of a discussion draft on extending funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) beyond September 2015 by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), as well as numerous cosponsors:

"The March of Dimes commends Chairman Hatch and Chairman Upton for their release of a discussion draft of legislation to extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program through 2019. CHIP is a national success story – a program that has not only met but exceeded its ambitious goals of providing affordable and comprehensive health coverage for children and pregnant women.

"Over the past several years, the uninsurance rate for children has continued to drop, even as the rate has increased for adults. Since CHIP's enactment in 1997, the child uninsurance rate has dropped from 13.9% to 6.6%. Today, nearly 8 million children have gained access to health care through CHIP.

"Pregnant women have also benefitted from CHIP coverage. Eighteen states currently offer CHIP coverage to pregnant women so they can obtain vital prenatal, maternity, and postpartum care. In 2010 alone, over 360,000 women received quality, affordable health care through state CHIP programs to ensure that their pregnancy and child were as healthy as possible.

"States' CHIP programs have repeatedly proven popular and appreciated by both families and policymakers. In polls, families regularly report that they can obtain quality, affordable care through the program. In recent letters to Congress, over 40 governors praised CHIP for its flexibility and urged the speedy passage of legislation to extend its funding.

"CHIP must be preserved to ensure vital coverage options for children and pregnant women. The March of Dimes applauds this effort by Chairman Hatch and Chairman Upton to begin the dialogue, and we urge Congress to extend CHIP funding as quickly as possible.”

About March of Dimes

March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we empower every mom and every family.

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