Governors: Pressure Congress to Fund CHIP and Community Health Centers

Update (12/22/17): Congress has passed a temporary budget that only extends CHIP through March, leaving long-term funding up in the air.

While Republicans in Congress focus on ramming through their unpopular tax plan, two critical sources of healthcare for vulnerable Americans are still awaiting funding reauthorization. On September 30th, funding expired for both the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Community Health Centers Fund.

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is an insurance program that covers 9 million children and pregnant women whose household incomes are too high to qualify for Medicaid. While Republicans in Congress claim to support CHIP, they have failed to pass a clean funding reauthorization bill for this critical program. Some states’ funding is so low that they’re starting to send letters to CHIP beneficiaries advising them to find other sources of coverage.

The Community Health Centers Fund (CHCF) provides essential federal funding for community health centers, which are medical facilities that serve everyone regardless of their ability to pay. These centers provide essential care to medically underserved populations like migrant farmworkers and homeless people and collectively care for over 25 million Americans. Without CHCF funding, the Department of Health and Human Services estimates over 9 million people would lose access to care, 50,000 people in low-income areas would lose their jobs, and hundreds of centers would close altogether.

If Congress does not reauthorize funding for these two programs, they will be without the funds needed to make healthcare affordable for children and low-income people. A bipartisan group of governors from 12 states have already signed onto a letter urging Congress to prioritize renewal of CHIP funding; urge your governor to co-sign the letter and demand funding for community health centers as well.

Call this office:

Edmund G. Brown Jr. D-CA

916-445-2841

Why you’re calling this office:

This is your state Governor.

Your script:

Hi, my name is [NAME], and I'm a constituent from San Francisco.

[IF CALLING FROM AK, CO, LA, MA, MN, MT, NV, NH, OH, PA, VT, or VA]: I'm calling to thank Governor [NAME] for urging Congress to pass a clean CHIP funding reauthorization bill. I encourage them to keep the pressure on and advocate for funding reauthorization for the Community Health Centers Fund as well. Both programs provide critical healthcare access to some of the most vulnerable residents of our state.

[IF CALLING FROM ANOTHER STATE]: I'm calling to encourage Governor [NAME] to join the bipartisan group of governors pressuring Congress to pass a clean CHIP funding reauthorization bill. I also urge the governor to advocate for renewal of the Community Health Centers Fund. Both programs provide critical healthcare access to some of the most vulnerable residents of our state.

Thank you for your time.

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