Tulsi Gabbard on Fully Funding CHIP

The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides health insurance coverage to 8.9 million kids. Their family incomes are above Medicaid eligibility but not enough to afford private insurance. Essentially, it fills in one of the many gaps in our patchwork healthcare system that exist in the absence of a Medicare for All program. In Hawai'i alone, 25,780 of our keiki receive their health insurance through CHIP. The clock is ticking for states like Hawai`i where they are days away from running out of money and being forced to close the door on our keiki.

In addition to passing a permanent fix for DACA and increasing disaster relief for Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and states affected by hurricanes, floods, and wildfires, one of the first orders of business Congress must take on in the New Year is authorizing funding for CHIP. Providing for children's health should not be about politics or partisanship. It is about taking care of our children.

People are angry with the pharmaceutical industry for lying and profiting from the opioid crisis that continues to ruin so many people's lives. They are upset with a system that leaves families caring for a loved one with crushing medical debt while health insurance executives boost their own pay. It is for these reasons that I am a cosponsor of H.R. 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act. Unfortunately, our bill is blocked due to partisan politics. However, CHIP has received bipartisan support in every Congress since its initiation in 1997, which is all the more reason why Congress needs to reauthorize this important program immediately.

America is stronger and more unified when we work together in the spirit of aloha. Mahalo for helping to show how we can better care for one another today.

Reauthorize funding for CHIP

The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) has received bipartisan support every year since its initiation in 1997. Covering 8.9 million children, including 25,780 in Hawaiʻi, this program fills a gap for families whose income is above Medicaid eligibility but not enough to afford private insurance. In our patchwork health insurance system, without Medicare for All, families depend on this program for their children to receive health insurance. Congress enacted a stopgap measure in their end of year CR, leaving states in limbo as they are at risk of running out of funding in a matter of days. We need a longer-term solution.

Add your name if you agree Congress must prioritize reauthorizing CHIP as one of the first orders of business in the New Year.