“Everyone on both sides of the aisle knows that we are going to renew CHIP. We need to renew it now. We are scaring people unnecessarily, and it’s ridiculous.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) offered reassurance today on CNN that the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will be reauthorized and urged people to ignore political scare tactics aimed at convincing them otherwise.
“CHIP will be reauthorized. There’s no disagreement on that point. This is phantom politics, and it’s disgraceful,” said Sen. Kennedy. “We need to get this done now. No excuses. CHIP is an extraordinarily worthwhile program for children and mothers in Louisiana, and across the U.S. It should be a crime to tell people it’s in danger when it’s not. It’s like telling people that you’re going to cancel LSU football unless they pay higher taxes.”
Sen. Kennedy sent Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a letter thanking him for his ongoing work to reauthorize CHIP. Sen. Kennedy asked that CHIP be made a legislative priority.
According to the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), the federal government contributed $325.6 million and the state contributed $18.4 million to the CHIP program in federal fiscal year 2016. The program currently insures at least 122,000 children across Louisiana and covers basic medical costs such as doctor visits, immunizations, and prescription medications.
“CHIP costs the state of Louisiana very little, and thousands of children receive health insurance. This is a well-managed program with little waste, and you can’t say that about many government programs,” said Sen. Kennedy. “CHIP is a good deal for the taxpayer, and it’s the right thing to do for those children. We’re going to renew it. We need to renew it now because people are scared.”
Sen. Kennedy spoke frankly with Poppy Harlow and John Berman on CNN this morning about why it is imperative to reauthorize CHIP. Click here to watch Sen. Kennedy’s full interview.