WASHINGTON, DC- U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, applauded the move by the Finance Committee to prevent an effort to dismantle the successful Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Preserving the program and protecting children in the health care reform debate has been one of Senator Casey’s top priorities.
“CHIP is a successful and effective program, with its roots in Pennsylvania, that has helped provide quality care for millions of children throughout the country,” said Senator Casey. “CHIP is a program that works well: we shouldn’t change programs that are not broken. Pennsylvania has made great progress with CHIP over the last 15 years substantially reducing the number of uninsured children. As the health insurance reform debate continues, I will do everything possible to ensure that we protect health care for children.”
Senator Casey has been a strong advocate for CHIP since his father helped create the Pennsylvania program on which the federal program is based. He was a leading advocate for the historic expansion of CHIP earlier this year. And he has been a vocal opponent of the provisions in the original Finance Committee bill that would have dismantled the program.
Senator Casey spearheaded a letter signed by six other senators urging the Finance Committee to support the amendment by Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) that preserved CHIP. He recently hosted a widely-attended briefing on the importance of children’s health care. Senator Casey gave numerous floor speeches on the need to do no harm to children in the health care reform debate. And he actively lobbied his Senate colleagues and the White House on the importance of maintaining CHIP.
Currently, seven million children are covered by CHIP. Because of the reauthorization and expansion earlier this year, over 14 million are projected to be covered in 2013. In Pennsylvania, over 195,000 children are currently covered.
CHIP provides robust care for children including well-child visits, preventive care, immunizations, monitoring for developmental progress or identifying any problems or developmental delays and dental care.