Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) late last night supported a bipartisan, bicameral agreement to reauthorize and expand the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides health insurance coverage for millions of children from America’s lower-income working families. The bill passed the Senate 67-29, after passing in the House 265-159 on Tuesday, and will now be sent to the President.
“Thousands of Delaware children have been able to see a doctor over the past decade thanks to CHIP,” said Sen. Carper. “Renewing and expanding the program will allow even more kids access to the doctor’s visits and medicines they need to stay healthy.”
CHIP provides coverage for children whose parents do not qualify for Medicaid and cannot afford costly private insurance. This legislation ensures that the 6.6 million children currently covered by CHIP will keep their health coverage and that another 4 million lower-income children will receive health care. Additionally, as many as 8,000 more Delaware children will have health care coverage over the next five years.
“Delaware kids and their families will benefit from the improvements made to the CHIP program, including added dental coverage for all children enrolled,” Sen. Carper said. “By making sure parents can afford check-ups and doctor’s visits for their children, we are investing in the next generation of Americans who deserve a healthy start in life.”
Consistent with the 1997 law that created CHIP, this reauthorization bill is funded by a new 61 cent increase in the federal tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products.
“Congress has done its job passing bipartisan legislation that provides kids from lower-income working families with much-needed health insurance,” Sen. Carper said. “I hope that the President will not stand in the way of the critical legislation and will sign it when it arrives on his desk.”
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