Rockefeller: Proposal to Repeal CHIP Is ‘Harmful’ and ‘Intolerable’
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), who last month salvaged the Children’s Health Insurance Program in the Senate’s health reform bill, just issued a statement condemning the House legislation for proposing to terminate the program.
“As health reform moves forward, we need to make sure children can keep their CHIP coverage and not be forced into untested private coverage,” Rockefeller said.
The Congressional Budget Office has been very clear that replacing CHIP with private health coverage will lead some children to lose their health coverage altogether, which is harmful and intolerable. Health care reform should improve the coverage children have – not take their coverage away.
I have spent my entire career working to protect children and other vulnerable populations, and will keep fighting to protect CHIP as health care reform goes to the Senate floor, and then moves to conference with the House of Representatives. We must do all we can to shield children from harm. Always.
It’s tough to envision a scenario in which Rockefeller, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee’s health subpanel, won’t play a part in the discussions forging the final bill. This statement, therefore, is hardly good news for the House Democratic leaders who’ve proposed to shift CHIP kids into private plans on the exchange.
Get out the popcorn. This saga is just getting started.