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MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN: Building on CHIP's Success

Marian Wright Edelman | 2/12/2014, 3 p.m.
Marian Wright Edelman (Courtesy of childrensdefense.org)

Although CHIP is authorized through 2019, its funding is running out and will virtually disappear by October 2015 unless Congress takes immediate action. If funding is not continued, millions of children would lose health coverage and millions more would likely receive less comprehensive coverage at significantly higher cost. Either would be an enormous step backwards for children. Congress must act this year to keep CHIP funding for millions of families and prevent uncertainty and discontinuity for children, parents, or states about CHIP’s future.

When CHIP was reauthorized in February 2009, President Obama correctly said: “No child in America should be receiving her primary care in the emergency room in the middle of the night. No child should be falling behind in school because he can’t hear the teacher or see the blackboard. I refuse to accept that millions of our kids fail to reach their potential because we fail to meet their basic needs. In a decent society, there are certain obligations that are not subject to tradeoffs or negotiations – health care for our children is one of those obligations.”

Let’s celebrate CHIP’s track record of success the common sense way by acting now to ensure CHIP in states across the country can continue the good work.

Marian Wright Edelman is president of the Children’s Defense Fund whose Leave No Child Behind mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. For more information go to www.childrensdefense.org.