WASHINGTON, DC- An amendment introduced by U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has so far received the support of over 500 national and state groups representing children’s health care and policy, school educators, public health, social workers, child and adolescent psychiatry, faith groups, health plans and more. The amendment would, in part, continue full funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through 2019, ensure affordable coverage and high quality benefits for children and make it easier for families to enroll in the program.
“As organizations committed to ensuring that all of our nation’s children get the health coverage they need and deserve, we are writing to thank you for your commitment to making children an important priority by filing Amendment #2790 to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590),” the groups wrote in a letter today to Senator Casey, copying Majority Leader Harry Reid. “Your amendment builds on the provisions of the underlying bill, continuing to protect and improve the country’s successful Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and ensuring that no child ends up worse off as a result of health reform. We applaud your leadership.”
As endorsements continue to come in, organizations who signed onto the letter written in support of the amendment include: American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; Academic Pediatric Association; Child Welfare League of America; Children’s Defense Fund; Families USA; Fight Crime Invest in Kids; First Focus Campaign for Children; Medicaid Health Plans of America; NAACP; National Council of La Raza; Voices for America’s Children; United Way Worldwide; The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC; Clearfield Area United Way; Consumer Health Coalition; Family Connection of Easton, Inc.; For Love of Children; Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way; Maternity Care Coalition; Montgomery County Community Action Development Commission; PathWays PA; Pennsylvania Head Start Association; Pennsylvania Health Law Project; Pennsylvania Home-based Child Care Providers Association; Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children; Public Citizens for Children & Youth; United Way of Beaver County; United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties; United Way of the Laurel Highlands; United Way of Lawrence County; United Way of Pennsylvania; United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania; and United Way of York County. The National Association of Children’s Hospitals has sent a separate letter endorsing the Casey CHIP Amendment.
Specifically, Senator Casey’s amendment would:
• Continue CHIP funding through 2019;
• Require a report in 2016 that will compare coverage and benefits for low income children under CHIP to the health care Exchange created in the reform bill;
• Increase federal matching funding for states that implement best practices for enrolling children;
• Protect children and families by ensuring, through 2013, that states may not reduce eligibility levels in place on October 1, 2009; will also require, beginning in 2014, that all states must cover children in families up to 250% of poverty;
• Streamline and simplify the CHIP application process to ensure families know about and can take advantage of coverage;
• Prevent eligibility errors by improving the eligibility screening process; and
• Dedicate any savings to be shared 50/50 between deficit reduction and a new fund for vulnerable children and families.
Full text of the letter can be found here.