An Illinois pediatricians’ group is calling on Congress to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP.
Jenny Pinkwater is executive director of the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She said the CHIP program helps children of the working poor who don't qualify for Medicaid, and who can't afford private or employer insurance. "So it’s really a bridge between Medicaid and private insurance," she said.
Pinkwater added that CHIP allows doctors to see more children, track their development, and give preventive care.
But the program expired September 30th, and Congress has yet to agree on further funding. If lawmakers don't re-authorize CHIP, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services says the state's funding could run out in a year. Then the state would either have to fund the program on its own or end the health coverage for children.