This week marks 100 days since Congress failed to extend full funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides 9 million U.S. children and pregnant women with comprehensive and affordable health care coverage. Please consider reaching out directly to your federal legislators and urging them to extend CHIP funding for five years right now: (877) 233-9025. Read on for information you should convey to your members of Congress.
Congressional inaction has created a dire situation for children, families and state legislatures. Congress must pass a spending bill to avert a federal government shutdown by January 19. As part of that vote, we are urging lawmakers to take immediate action and extend CHIP funding for five years.
To reach your members of Congress, please call (877) 233-9025 and the operator will direct you to the DC Offices of your federal legislators.
Here are some example talking points below to help guide your call:
– “Hello. As a constituent of West Virginia, I am calling today to urge (U.S. Senator’s name/U.S. Representative’s name) to pass legislation immediately that would extend current funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for five years and maintain the bipartisan history of the program.”
– “CHIP funding expired over 100 days ago. Now, families are facing uncertainty and entering the new year without knowing if their children will have health care coverage.”
– “The short-term solutions Congress has offered so far do not give families the relief they need so that their children can access care, and also fail to address states’ funding concerns. States and families need stability. “
– “Because CHIP funding has not been extended, states have been forced to make difficult choices as they question the future of their CHIP programs. Actions include sending notices to families that they may not be able to rely on CHIP for more than another month or two. Already several states are using funds meant to operate the program to begin the process of shutting it down. “
– “The program is designed around what children need. It offers benefits that are age-appropriate, including dental coverage and mental health and substance abuse services, which may not be covered by a family’s employer-sponsored insurance.”
– “Families who rely on CHIP already face uncertainty and challenges, whether managing a complicated health condition for their child or determining how to afford day-to-day living expenses. The last thing these families need is added uncertainty about the future of their children’s medical and dental coverage or whether they will have access to necessary prenatal care services.”