CHIP Extension Passes House; “Protects the Most Vulnerable,” Westerman says
WASHINGTON – Congressman Bruce Westerman released the following statement Friday (November 3) upon passage of H.R. 3922, the CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS Act:
“The health and wellness of our children should be our top priority,” Westerman said. “Today, Congress funded the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for an additional five years. This action, as well as providing funding for community health centers and other public health programs, protects the most vulnerable in our communities in a fiscally responsible manner.”
Programs funded by H.R. 3922 receive widespread support from members on both sides of the aisle and include (information provided by House Energy and Commerce Committee):
- Five Year Extension of The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP): CHIP is an important safety net program that provides health care to lower-income children. In 2015, more than 8.4 million children received their health insurance through a CHIP program. The bill extends CHIP funding through FY 2022 and ensures children continue to receive coverage through state CHIP programs rather than through the ACA exchanges and Medicaid. This bill also restores the historically successful federal-state partnership and prudently limits federal spending by unwinding the 23% E-FMAP created in the ACA.
- 2 Year Extension of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs): FQHCs (community health centers) are community-based, patient-centered organizations that provide comprehensive health services to medically-underserved populations, regardless of their ability to pay. The bill extends funding for these centers for two years through the Community Health Center Fund. According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, in 2015, community health centers employed nearly 190,000 people and served over 24 million patients. One in 13 people nationwide rely on a health center for their health care needs.
- 2 Year Extension of Important Public Health Programs: Funding for the National Health Service Corps, Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education, Family-to-Family Health Information Centers, the Youth Empowerment Program, and the Personal Responsibility Education Program are included in this bill.