From Senators Kaine and Warner:
AFTER MONTHS OF WORK, WARNER & KAINE PRAISE SIX-YEAR REAUTHORIZATION OF CHILDREN’S HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine and Mark Warner praised the six-year reauthorization of Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that they helped secure as part of a bipartisan agreement this week. Today, the Northam Administration is sending letters to tens of thousands of Virginia families to inform them that they will continue to receive health care coverage through CHIP, after months of uncertainty due to inaction by Republican leadership in Congress.
“For months, Virginia families were forced to live in fear as the fate of healthcare coverage for their children remained uncertain,”Warner said. “While we are glad to have been part of the group that worked across the aisle to find a bipartisan solution, Congress should have never allowed political gamesmanship to jeopardize the well-being of the 66,000 children and 1,100 pregnant women in Virginia who rely on the CHIP program for doctor visits, hospital care, prescription medicines, immunizations, and regular check-ups. Today these families can breathe a little easier knowing that they once again have the security they were promised.”
“We are relieved that Congress has reached a bipartisan agreement to reauthorize CHIP, a program that 66,000 kids in Virginia rely on for care,” Kaine said. “Months of delay brought fear and uncertainty to families that depend on CHIP for care and medications for their children on a day-to-day basis. I’m glad we could be part of the solution and that these families finally get the peace of mind they deserve.”
Last fall, Congress allowed CHIP’s reauthorization to lapse. Warner and Kaine urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to immediately pass bipartisan legislation to reauthorize CHIP, with letters calling for expedited reauthorization in October and December. In December, the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services alerted families that rely on CHIP that their coverage might come to an end in January if Congress failed to reauthorize the program. Kaine and Warner were part of the bipartisan group of senators that spent last weekend working to reopen the government and reach agreement on the big issues that Congress has punted on for months, successfully securing a six-year reauthorization of CHIP that was signed into law Monday.