Larson Calls for Immediate Reauthorization of CHIP & Community Health Center Funding
Washington, D.C. – Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) called again for a reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), community health center funding, and other crucial public health priorities after voting NO on H.J. Res. 123, a short term continuing resolution. In addition to CHIP, the two-week stop-gap bill fails to address some of the nation’s most critical needs such as additional disaster funding for Puerto Rico & the US Virgin Islands, defense and domestic spending levels for Fiscal Year 2018, relief for DACA recipients, bipartisan legislation to stabilize health insurance markets, and funding to address the opioid epidemic. These issues all need be addressed immediately, but Congressional Republicans are yet again kicking the can down the road.
“Instead of working to help families, and reauthorize CHIP in a timely, nonpartisan manner, Republicans have instead focused on giving tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations. 17,000 children in Connecticut alone depend on this and because of the Republican’s decision not to offer a long-term solution for CHIP, Connecticut will be forced to send out notifications to families warning them that this funding might not be available after the end of January,” said Larson. “This bill also fails to provide funding for community health centers that serve our most vulnerable constituents. I am proud to support a bill that would not only reauthorize CHIP and community health center funding, but also provide needed assistance to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands’ health care systems to help our fellow U.S. citizens still recovering from natural disasters. I will continue to demand that we fund these programs now, and work with my colleagues to find a solution.”
For the past 20 years, CHIP has been funded on a bipartisan basis, this year the Republican majority missed the September 30th deadline to keep it funded.
Larson is a cosponsor of H.R. 4541, a bill to:
- Reauthorize CHIP for five years.
- Reauthorize Community Health Centers and other important public health programs for two years (such as the National Health Service Corps, the Special Diabetes Program, and the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Program).
- Cancel the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) cuts for five years without setting up deeper cuts later on.
- Take important steps to address the critical needs of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The bill provides for an $8 billion increase in Puerto Rico’s Medicaid spending cap over five years and an additional $275 million increase in the U.S. Virgin Islands’ cap over the same period. It also provides a 100 percent federal match for Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands for two years, streamlines and removes burden of enrollment for residents and evacuees, and reimburses state Medicaid programs for the cost of evacuees at 100 percent match for two years.