Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Inspires Innovation – Say Ahhh! A Children’s Health Policy Blog

Two years ago today, President Obama signed into law the
Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act to help families facing
tough times find affordable health coverage for their children. 

Thanks to the strong resolve of national and state leaders, many of our children have been offered shelter during these turbulent economic times. While private insurance has become less available and
more expensive and people have lost jobs and the insurance that comes with them, CHIP and Medicaid have maintained a vital lifeline to
America’s children.  

CHIPRA also encourages state leaders to demonstrate
fiscal prudence by reducing red tape that wastes time and money and to focus on
more efficient ways to get and keep children insured.

The initiative inspired a lot of positive change in the
two years since it was reauthorized and a report issued yesterday from CMS
cites some great examples of these changes from states such as Iowa, Kentucky,
New Mexico and Wisconsin. 

These improvements to children’s health coverage programs
are part of a national trend in which nearly all states have defended children
from cuts to their coverage. CHIP and Medicaid are holding steady and doing
their job of helping families continue to gain solid footing after the
Recession.  They are crucial
foundations that must be held strong as we move forward in further improving
our nation’s healthcare system through full implementation of the Affordable
Care Act. 

In addition to releasing their report on the progress in
covering children since CHIPRA two years ago, CMS announced $40 million in new
grant funding for state, community-based organizations, school districts to
support outreach and enrollment activities to continue the progress that we
have seen.  On Tuesday, the
National Covering Kids & Families Network will host a webinar on CHIPRA
where staff from CMS to provide an update on CHIPRA efforts including an overview of this new grant opportunity.  Go here to register for the webinar.

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