WASHINGTON – Despite the concerns Jimmy Kimmel expressed on his late night show about Republicans appearing to ignore the needs of medically-vulnerable children, the U.S. Congress funded $3 billion into the federal program in the short term budget bill passed Thursday.
Kimmel's concerns became the topic of angry Facebook users' posts, stirring viewers' panic that subsidized children would go without the medical care the program provides.
In Illinois, about 255,000 kids are covered in the state and federally funded program. In order to qualify, for the so-called CHIP (Children Health Insurance Program) parents much make too much to qualify for Medicaid, but still can't afford private insurance.
About half of those 255,000 children would still likely be covered by Medicaid even if the state ran out of funding for the children’s insurance program, the state health care department told the Chicago Tribune. The other half could be in jeopardy of losing coverage in late 2018 if Congress still hasn’t reauthorized it by then.
Representative Peter Roskam (IL-06) was one of the Illinois congressional delegation that voted in favor of the continuing resolution to fund the U.S. government through March 2018. Included in the resolution is funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); extended funding for community health centers for the first and second quarters; and a $2.1 billion appropriation for the Veterans Choice Program.
“We have a responsibility to the American people to keep the government funded and maintain critical services to our most vulnerable citizens. Our children, our veterans and our communities will receive the funding they need to continue serving those in need. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the coming months on a long-term budget proposal for FY2018,” said Rep. Roskam.
Earlier this year, Rep. Roskam voted to reauthorize CHIP funding through 2022. Though the bill failed to pass the Senate, Roskam has committed to working with his colleagues in Congress towards a long-term solution for CHIP.