17,000 Kids in Connecticut Could Lose Health Coverage - NBC Connecticut

17,000 Kids in Connecticut Could Lose Health Coverage



    If Congress doesn't act, thousands of children in Connecticut health coverage because the program will run out of money.

    (Published Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017)

    One of the major federal programs currently caught in limbo is the one that provides health insurance to hundreds of thousands of children around the country.

    CHIP, the Childrens Health Insurance Program, has been reauthorized multiple times since its creation in the 1990s, but it now may run out of money by the end of September if Congress doesn’t act.

    "Health insurance for children ought to be above politics and outside the partisan divisions," said U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal following a press conference Tuesday.

    In Connecticut, the state covers a percentage of the cost for more than 17,000 children covered by the program.

    At the Charter Oak Health Center in Hartford, doctors there currently see 95 patients covered by HUSKY B, the name of the program in Connecticut.

    TJ Clarke, a spokesman for the health center, said since the children are covered, it not only improves health outcomes for them, but it also leads to better results for their parents who are constantly interacting with the healthcare system.

    "This is why it’s so important to have health insurance because you have access to quality healthcare right around you," Clarke said.

    If the program does not get reauthorized, those children covered by the program may not have access to another health insurance provider.

    Clarke said he hopes there is a clean passage of an extension of the program to have the least disruption possible.

    "I don’t think anybody wants their lives to play with in the hands of politicians," he said.

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