Governors Kate Brown and John Hickenlooper Call On Congress To Take Action On CHIP

WASHINGTON D.C. – On a DNC press conference call yesterday, Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper called on Congress to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which children depend on for life-saving care across the country. Many states, including Oregon and Colorado, are dealing with the real-world consequences of such a crucial program expiring. States are being forced to dip into their own budgets to keep children and pregnant mothers on their health insurance plans, and many could have to end that coverage unless Congress acts soon.

Instead of working on a common-sense solution, House Republicans tried to tie CHIP funding to deep cuts to preventative health programs and increased Medicare costs. While House and Senate Republicans pushed through massive tax giveaways to billionaires and wealthy corporations, nearly 9 million children across the country are at risk of losing their health insurance.

“Without congressional action to reauthorize CHIP funding, thousands of families in Oregon and across the United States face these crushing, devastating circumstances. It's time for Congress to put aside political their political games and fund the CHIP program. Unfortunately, Congress has been focused on giving tax breaks for the wealthy and the well-connected, but in my state we are focused on the people and not the powerful,” said Governor Kate Brown. “Right now in Oregon, 98% of children have health care coverage. Thanks to the progress we've made this last legislative session, 100% of our children will have access to health care. I am not willing to go backwards and I will continue funding through dollars that we have available here until April, but it is absolutely imperative that Congress quits playing political games and get their act together and fund the CHIP program.”

“There are Colorado children who have serious health issues and women who have serious at risk pregnancies or complications, but now and all of a sudden Congress is willing to put their lives at risk? As governors, each of us have heart-breaking stories of children that will lose their health care coverage, for example, the six-year old child who needs insulin and suddenly there is not the money for that insulin, forces that family to make a very difficult financial decision,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “Congress must recognize that anxiety and fear have real costs in people's lives. We've all seen this coming. Let's just get it done. It should not wait until the end of January. It should not be drawn out further than it needs to be, Congress must reauthorize CHIP immediately.”