By WENDY HOLDREN
BECKLEY, W.Va. — Studies have shown if Congress does not reauthorize CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program), costs would increase for children with chronic conditions and overall children’s health could worsen.
In a release Tuesday, Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., said he is urging the Senate to reauthorize the program.
Jenkins, along with Reps. David McKinley, R-W.Va., and Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., wrote a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, to illustrate the importance of CHIP to West Virginia and Appalachia.
“Central Appalachia is largely rural, with access to care issues common in rural, remote areas. That makes CHIP even more imperative, as it encourages and promotes access to preventative and primary care for so many of our constituents,” the letter said. “As of fiscal year 2016, about 1 million children in Central Appalachian states were enrolled in CHIP.”
West Virginia officials have said the state has enough funding for CHIP through March 2018, but quick action remains imperative.
The House passed a five-year reauthorization bill in November, but the full Senate has yet to take up a CHIP reauthorization bill.
“We must find a solution to guarantee stability and to guarantee that no child goes without health insurance,” they wrote. “We must come together and finish the work of Congress and reauthorize CHIP.”
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