Proposed CHIP cut would hurt Alabama's working families

Arise Citizens’ Policy Project policy director Jim Carnes issued the following statement Wednesday, May 9, 2018, in response to President Trump’s proposal to cut $7 billion from the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP):

“The last thing Alabama parents need is yet more uncertainty about their children’s health coverage. But just four months after Congress reached an agreement on long-term CHIP funding, President Trump is seeking to go back on the deal by cutting $7 billion from the program. Violating this year’s bipartisan agreement would sound an alarm not just for CHIP but for the prospect of meaningful action on any other vital issues facing Congress in the future.

“This proposed cut would undermine CHIP, which provides health coverage for 173,000 Alabama children, including 85,000 on ALL Kids. The cut would do major damage to a rainy day account that protects CHIP against unexpected enrollment increases caused by economic downturns or natural disasters. It also could set the stage for lower federal support for CHIP in the future.

“Alabama knows all too well how suddenly calamities can occur, and it’s essential to ensure CHIP can afford to cover all the kids who need it. Millions of American families, including tens of thousands across Alabama, already endured months of uncertainty after Congress let CHIP funding expire before approving a 10-year extension. These hard-working parents deserve to know those worries are behind them.

“Early statements from the administration have sent mixed messages about what effect the cuts will have. But no matter how you slice it, a $7 billion reduction in CHIP funding would be bad news for children’s health coverage. Alabama’s members of Congress should protect children and working families by rejecting this harmful cut.”

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