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Congressman Evan Jenkins

Representing the 3rd District of West Virginia

REP. JENKINS URGES SENATE TO REAUTHORIZE CHIP

December 12, 2017
Press Release
“We must find a solution to guarantee stability and to guarantee that no child goes without health insurance.”

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) has led a letter from the West Virginia House delegation urging the Senate to pass a long-term CHIP reauthorization and give families peace of mind this holiday season.

In the letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Reps. Jenkins, David McKinley and Alex Mooney wrote of the importance of CHIP to West Virginia and Appalachia.

“Central Appalachia is largely rural, with access to care issues common in rural, remote areas. That makes CHIP even more imperative, as it encourages and promotes access to preventative and primary care for so many of our constituents. As of fiscal year 2016, about 1 million children in Central Appalachian states were enrolled in CHIP,” they wrote.

West Virginia officials have said the state has enough funding for CHIP through March 2018, but quick action remains imperative. The House passed a five-year reauthorization bill in November, but the full Senate has yet to take up a CHIP reauthorization bill.

“We must find a solution to guarantee stability and to guarantee that no child goes without health insurance. We must come together and finish the work of Congress and reauthorize CHIP,” they wrote.

A PDF of the letter is available here.

The full text of the letter is below.

December 11, 2017

Senator Orrin Hatch
Chairman
Senate Committee on Finance
104 Hart Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Chairman Hatch,

As members of the House of Representatives who represent Central Appalachia congressional districts, we ask you to quickly pass the long-term CHIP reauthorization to give our families and children peace of mind as we approach the holiday season. Your leadership on CHIP and ensuring that millions of children receive quality health insurance and care is truly commendable, and we stand ready to work with you to pass this bill and send it to the president.

Central Appalachia is largely rural, with access to care issues common in rural, remote areas. That makes CHIP even more imperative, as it encourages and promotes access to preventative and primary care for so many of our constituents. As of fiscal year 2016, about 1 million children in Central Appalachian states were enrolled in CHIP.[1]

The House of Representatives passed the CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS Act, H.R. 3922, which extended CHIP for five years. Additionally, Congress has voted to provide more time to reach a long-term solution by including a short-term funding fix for CHIP in the continuing resolution passed on December 7, 2017.

According to a Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) issue brief, many of our states will exhaust CHIP funds early next year.[2] We must find a solution to guarantee stability and to guarantee that no child goes without health insurance. We must come together and finish the work of Congress and reauthorize CHIP.

CHIP has been a lifeline to so many in Central Appalachia, and passing this legislation must remain a priority. In our state of West Virginia, reauthorizing CHIP will give certainty to so many going in to the new year. The work you have done on CHIP has helped many families in our region, and we are ready to work with you to finalize legislation and reauthorization this program.

Sincerely,

Evan H. Jenkins                                                         

David B. McKinley, P.E.

Alex Mooney

 

[1] CMS Medicaid “Reports and Evaluations Annual Enrollment Reports: 2016 Number of Children Ever Enrolled Report”

[2] MACPAC “Federal CHIP Funding: When Will States Exhaust Allotments?” July 2017

Issues: