Governor Wolf, DHS Rebuke Congress for Failing to Reauthorize CHIP Before Holidays
December 22, 2017
Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf and Department of Human Services (DHS) Acting Secretary Teresa Miller shared their disappointment over Congress’ inability to re-authorize CHIP. The 90 percent federally funded program totaled $430.716 million in Pennsylvania during fiscal year 2016-2017.
“Yesterday, Congress passed a continuing resolution of $3 billion for the CHIP program,” said Governor Wolf. “But, this partial funding is not the answer and Congress’ failure to do the right thing and fully fund this critical program is appalling.
“Last week I was proud of Pennsylvania’s bi-partisan commitment to secure health insurance for our most vulnerable – our children and pregnant women. This week I am appalled by the lack of foresight by Congress. Caring for our children and our future needs to be made a priority. Congress needs to do its part on a federal level. Failing to get this done before the holidays, as families gather, shows an incredible lack of compassion.”
DHS is currently evaluating the impact of the continuing resolution funds on the timeline to terminate the program. DHS would notify families at least 30 days before the date the program terminates for lack of funding.
“180,162 children in Pennsylvania and nine million children nationwide are on the cusp of losing everything we stand for as Americans,” said Acting DHS Secretary Miller. “Children and families across America need our leaders to step up and do the job we have trusted and elected them to do.”
Depending on the family income – children are eligible for free coverage or coverage based on a sliding scale payment. Despite all of the families touched by CHIP and the access to high-quality health care coverage it provides, the program will no longer exist, unless Congress acts.
For more information on CHIP and for a letter to send to representatives, visit www.CHIPCoversPAKids.com.