Baucus: CHIP Expansion Was Highlight of the Decade
Last year’s expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program was the legislative high point of the last decade, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chairman of the Finance Committee, told Montana’s Great Falls Tribune.
Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said the expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program was the most significant development of the past 10 years. The program provides health insurance to low-income children whose families don’t qualify for Medicaid, but who cannot afford health insurance on their own.
“I believe all Montanans should have access to quality, affordable health care, but it is most disconcerting when our youngest generations are forced to go without the care they need, because it’s such a critical time for their health and development,” said Baucus, who helped write the legislation and pushed for its reauthorization last year.
Odd, then, that the initial health reform bill drafted by Baucus this year proposed to terminate the CHIP program and shift those kids to either Medicaid or private plans found on insurance exchanges — a provision similar to the CHIP repeal found in the House bill. Baucus did, however, vote in favor of the amendment that salvaged CHIP in the Senate proposal.