The debate over healthcare and how potential changes may affect children continues.
In a press release issued by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), he suggested the Senate is focused on a tax reform bill when the real issue is kids in America on the verge of losing their health insurance.
In the release, Brown explained Congress allowed the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to expire. Therefore, he noted, states are beginning to run out of money for CHIP and some are preparing to shut down the program, which nine million children, including more than 209,000 Ohio kids, rely on.
Potentially as early as this weekend, families of young children in some states will receive letters in the mail informing them their children are losing their health insurance.
The press release stated, “These are families with working parents who aren’t lucky enough to work for companies that offer health insurance coverage for their entire family. Or, they’re families with children who have special needs. CHIP helps provide access to specialty providers, so that sick kids are never faced with a situation where their family can’t afford the therapy or prescription drugs they need.”
Senator Brown goes on to explain, “Last week, I spoke with Crystal, whose son Noble relies on CHIP to cover the five pediatric specialists he sees at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. She told me about how vital CHIP is to their family, and the opportunities for treatment it’s given Noble-opportunities they would never have been able to afford otherwise.”
Senator Brown stressed that if legislative leaders don’t act now to extend CHIP, the state will have to make “impossible” choices.
The release noted, without federal funds, Ohio may have to cut reimbursements to pediatricians and children’s hospitals.
“That means kids like Noble may no longer be able to see their regular doctors or may have to wait longer for the care they need,” explained Senator Brown.
He is calling for leaders to put politics aside and extend CHIP for Ohio families.
Michaela Madison Reporting