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Rockefeller Still Hinging Support for Health Reform on CHIP

Senate supporters of the Children’s Health Insurance Program won two years of additional funding for the popular federal-state program under the upper chamber’s health reform bill, but it remains unknown what will become of that provision when Senate leaders sit down next month with those in the House, who have proposed to terminate CHIP altogether.

This week, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) reiterated a vow to hinge his support for the underlying bill on the continuation of CHIP. From The Charleston Gazette:

Congressional Quarterly reported that Rockefeller had “warned that he would oppose the overhaul if it ends the CHIP program.”

“I’m glad I said that,” Rockefeller said Monday. “It was a good thing to say.”

He has not yet talked with the House leadership, he said, “but they know how I feel.” …

He is not sure why the House decided to dissolve CHIP and transfer millions of children in commercial programs. “I don’t know what the reason was, and I don’t care,” he said. “It was some tactical reason. I don’t want it to last.”

For the moment, though, senators are just trying to get their version of the bill passed before Christmas.

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