Would Matt Rosendale Let CHIP Funding Run Dry?
Helena – More than 44,000 Montana children receive care through the Children’s Health Insurance Program, according to a report in the Helena Independent Record last week.
CHIP is a federal program that provides low cost health care to children in families that don’t qualify for Medicaid, and Congress failed to reauthorize the program at the end of September.
While this has long been a bipartisan issue, Insurance Commissioner Matt Rosendale – who continues to do nothing in defense of Montanans who would see their costs go up or who get kicked off their insurance – has said nothing about this program.
In fact, he supports policies that would have a substantial negative effect on the CHIP program, and on children’s health in general. Rosendale supports a straight repeal of the current health care bill. A straight repeal would have:
- Immediately liminated an increased 23 percent match for Montana’s CHIP program.
- Jeopardized a prohibition that keeps states from rolling back their CHIP eligibility standards.
- Cut a provision in the current health care bill that eliminated Montana’s three month waiting period for children to become eligible for CHIP, allowing them to get the care they needed.
- “Significant negative impact on coverage of children,” according to the Montana Budget and Policy Center. “Currently, only six percent of Montana’s children are uninsured, but ACA repeal and proposed changes to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) could drastically change that.”
“The Children’s Health Insurance Program has long been a bipartisan issue that Matt Rosendale should stand up loudly and demand be reauthorized,” said Chris Meagher, spokesman for the Montana Democratic Party. “Instead, in the face of kids and families in need, he is silent. That’s not the type of leadership we need in Montana.”