WASHINGTON — The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) released the following statement in support of the Senate’s vote late Tuesday to reauthorize funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The program, set to expire in September, will be extended for two more years.
“We are pleased that Congress so strongly came together across the aisle to protect children’s health care,” said Kathy Ko Chin, APIAHF president and CEO. “This bipartisan support is a testament to the importance of CHIP in so many Americans’ lives and the success of the program. We encourage lawmakers to build upon this momentum and fully extend the program to 2019. CHIP is crucial for millions of children, providing needed resources that they would not otherwise be able to afford.”
CHIP provides coverage to low- and moderate-income children and pregnant women. In addition, CHIP protects children in working families, whose parents may not receive or be able to afford health insurance to cover the family. Even with the Affordable Care Act, insurance coverage for families may not be affordable. Many families are at risk of falling into this “family glitch,” including an estimated 74 percent of uninsured Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) families. Over 25 percent of AA and NHPI children rely on CHIP or Medicaid for health coverage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Eight million children rely on CHIP for coverage.
In addition, the bill averts the Primary Care Funding Cliff for community health centers by extending funding through 2017. APIAHF is disappointed to see the inclusion of the Hyde Amendment, which limits federal funding for abortion services to the narrowest of cases, attached to these funds. APIAHF supports making the full scope of reproductive health care available for all, without restriction.