TX Health Plans Urge Congress to Act Swiftly to Reauthorize CHIP
Thursday, October 5, 2017
Posted by: Jessica Sandlin
For Immediate Release: October 3, 2017
With Missed Deadline Jeopardizing Health Coverage for Hundreds of Thousands of TX Children, TAHP Urges Congress to Act Swiftly to Reauthorize CHIP
AUSTIN—The Texas Association of Health Plans (TAHP), the statewide trade association representing commercial and public health plans operating in Texas, including all Medicaid managed care organizations that manage the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), today issued the following statement urging Congress to act immediately to reauthorize CHIP or risk 380,000 Texas children losing their health care coverage. As of Oct. 1, Congress allowed CHIP to expire by failing to reauthorize funding for the program by the Sept. 30 deadline. CHIP provides low-cost health coverage to roughly 9 million children across the country.
“It’s inexcusable that Congress has missed a deadline they were long aware of to reauthorize a critical program serving one of the nation’s most vulnerable populations,” said Jamie Dudensing, CEO of TAHP and a former practicing labor & delivery nurse. "If Congress does not act swiftly, the State of Texas will no longer be able to administer CHIP and provide low-cost, quality health coverage to nearly 400,000 children - the second largest population of CHIP enrollees in the country. Dismantling this program would undo the successful gains CHIP has made since its inception nearly 20 years ago, such as reducing the overall rate of uninsured children in Texas from 18 percent to 6 percent. A failure to reauthorize CHIP at the federal level would mean a $1 billion loss in federal funding for Texas and, ultimately, the loss of myriad benefits such as dental, vision and mental health care for children whose families do not earn enough to purchase health coverage for them. Chief among our government’s responsibilities is caring for vulnerable children, and CHIP should remain a vital piece of health coverage for Texas Children.”