Lowey Calls on Congress to Stay in Session until CHIP and Community Health Centers are Reauthorized
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY17/Rockland-Westchester), Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Committee, today called on Congress to stay in session until important public health investments are extended.
“Congress should not recess while 1.1 million American children are at risk of losing their health coverage,” said Congresswoman Lowey. “It is unfathomable that Republican leadership would adjourn Congress while allowing historically bipartisan investments in public health to lapse.”
Without Congressional action, authorization for important public health investments including the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Federally Qualified Health Centers will expire after September 30, 2017.
CHIP is a vital partnership between the federal government and states that expands access to health coverage for children and pregnant mothers in low-income working families. If CHIP expires, states would lose the partnership of the federal government, costs would increase, and coverage could be dropped. According to the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MEDPAC), failure to reauthorize CHIP would put 1.1 million children at risk of losing health coverage.
Additionally, funding for Federally Qualified Health Centers is also in jeopardy. Community health centers provide vital health services to low-income residents of the Lower Hudson Valley, who often may not have access to other health providers. Without reauthorization, leading local community health centers would see as many as 16,000 patients lose access to care.
Lowey is a cosponsor of H.R. 3770, the bipartisan Community Health Investment, Modernization, and Excellent Act, which would extend authorization for community health centers and increase funding annually for five years.
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