Senate Democrats

CHIP Reauthorization Has Broad Support

Groups across the ideological spectrum support passage of the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Bill. This broad support was garnered by taking a bipartisan approach throughout the process in an effort to cover 4 million more children. In this time of economic crisis, when even more children need coverage, it is time to pass the Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Bill.


Groups Cross the Health Care Advocacy Spectrum Supported the Senate’s Effort to Reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Calling It a “Vitally Important Component of Our Nation’s Health Care Safety Net.” In a letter to Senator Reid, the groups wrote, “We are writing to express our enthusiastic support for efforts to pass legislation that will reauthorize and significantly expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).  Recognizing that SCHIP is a vitally important component of our nation’s health care safety net, we fully support the current efforts to increase federal funding for this program and help states extend coverage to more uninsured children.” The letter was signed by the following groups:

  • AARP
  • America’s Health Insurance Plans
  • AdvaMed
  • Blue Cross/Blue Shield Association
  • American Cancer Society-Cancer Action Network
  • Catholic Health Association
  • Families USA
  • American Hospital Association
  • Federation of American Hospitals
  • American Medical Association
  • Healthcare Leadership Council
  • American Nurses Association
  • PhRMA
  • American Public Health Association
  • SEIU [Letter to Senator Reid, 1/22/09]

Coalition Including the Business Roundtable, the National Federation of Independent Business, AARP and SEIU Urged Prompt Action to Reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program. “The seniors’ lobby AARP, the Service Employees International Union, the Business Roundtable and the National Federation of Independent Business, which make up the coalition’s membership, all signed off on the letter. ‘On behalf of Divided We Fail, we urge you to act promptly to reauthorize and strengthen the State Children’s Health Insurance Program,’ the letter states. ‘The carefully crafted legislation you are considering enjoys wide bipartisan support.’” [The Hill, 1/12/09]

PhRMA Touted the Track Record of Success Demonstrated by the Children’s Health Insurance Program and Called for Passage of the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Bill. In a letter to Speaker Pelosi, Billy Tauzin, president and CEO of PhRMA, praised the Children’s Health Insurance bill and called for the program to be continued through passage of the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 because of its track record of success. In particular, Tauzin praised a provision of the bill that enhances a state’s option to use the program to help subsidize some employer-sponsored coverage. “This provision maximizes the effectiveness of both public and private sector coverage to promote better access to health care services,” he wrote. [PHRMA Letter to Speaker Pelosi, 1/14/09]

Eli Lilly Praised CHIP for Its Track Record of Success and Urged Its Reauthorization. In a letter to Senator Reid, Joseph B. Kelley, Eli Lilly’s Vice President for Government and Public Affairs wrote, “On behalf of Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly), I am writing to express our continued support for the reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)… Lilly believes that all Americans should have access top affordable, quality health care. SCHIP has shown its success by reducing the number of low-income uninsured children by one-third since it was created in 1997. There is still much to do, however, and in the spirit of a balanced approach Lilly is hopeful that certain measures are considered during the reauthorization effort.” [Eli Lilly Letter to Senator Reid, 1/13/09]

The AFL-CIO Urged the Senate Not to Delay Passage of the Children’s Health Insurance Bill. In a statement, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said,“Reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program by the House of Representatives shows that it is serious about prioritizing the pressing needs of our nation’s working families, especially during these turbulent economic times. The Senate must not delay in putting this much-needed legislation to a vote, so that our new President can sign it into law as one of his first orders of business.” [AFL-CIO Press Release, 1/14/09]

The American Federation of Teachers Supports Passage of SCHIP in 2009. In a statement, AFT President Randi Weingarten said,“The AFT commends the House for reauthorizing and expanding the SCHIP program, as well as for allowing states the flexibility to extend coverage to children of legal immigrants. With millions of additional families being pushed into poverty by the economic downturn, this bill is an absolute necessity.” [American Federation of Teachers Press Release, 1/14/09]

The National Governor’s Association Called on Congress and the Administration to Reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program as Soon as Possible. In a letter, the NGA wrote,“The nation’s governors call on Congress and the new Administration to reauthorize the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) as soon as possible this year.” [NGA Letter signed by Govs. Ed Rendell (Pa.), James Douglas (Vt.), Jennifer Granholm (Mich.) and Jodi Rell (Conn.) 1/12/09]

The American Medical Association Applauded House Vote for CHIP. In a letter, AMA Executive Vice President Michael D. Maves said,“On behalf of the physician and medical student members of the American Medical Association (AMA), I am writing to express our support for the “Children’s Health Insurance Program [CHIP] Reauthorization Act of 2009,” scheduled to be marked up by the Senate Finance Committee. Expanding coverage to the millions of uninsured Americans is a top priority for the AMA, especially during these challenging economic times. Reauthorizing CHIP is a critical first step in expanding coverage for the millions of children without health insurance.” [American Medical Association Letter to Senator Baucus, 1/14/09]

America’s Health Insurance Plans Said Passage of the Children’s Health Insurance Bill Moves Our Country One Step Closer to Ensuring Every American Has Access to Quality, Affordable Health Care. In a statement, President and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans Karen Ignani said, “Expanding coverage for kids moves us one step closer to ensuring every American has access to high-quality, affordable health care coverage. Strengthening the health care safety net has been a central component of the comprehensive health care reform proposals AHIP began releasing in November 2006.  For several years, AHIP has collaborated with a broad coalition of stakeholders in support of SCHIP reauthorization.” [America’s Health Insurance Plans Press Release, 1/14/09]

American Hospital Association Expressed Strong Support for CHIP. “On behalf of the American Hospital Association (AHA) and our nearly 5,000 member hospitals, health systems, and other health care organizations, and our 38,000 individual members, I am writing to express our strong support for H.R. 2, the Children’s Health Insurance Program

Reauthorization Act of 2009.The State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) has been instrumental in providing health care coverage to more than 7 million low-income children. This legislation will secure coverage for those children and add coverage to approximately 4 million more uninsured children, most of whom are eligible for Medicaid or SCHIP but not enrolled.” [American Hospital Association Letter to the House of Representatives, 1/13/09]

American Academy of Pediatrics Called Renewing the Children’s Health Insurance Program One of Its Top Legislative Priorities. In a letter to Senator Baucus, American Academy of Pediatrics President David T. Tayloe, MD wrote,“On behalf of the merican Academy of Pediatrics (the Academy) and its 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists, and pediatric surgical specialists, I write to express our sincere gratitude for your leadership and determination in reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in the Finance Committee. We commend you for your efforts and endorse the Finance Committee’s bill. The Finance Committee’s version of the CHIP reauthorization includes policies and funding to reach an additional four million eligible children. During these tough economic times, we can not afford to wait to provide these children with access to care.” [American Academy of Pediatrics Letter to Senator Baucus, 1/16/09]

National Rural Health Association Supports CHIP Reauthorization. Accordin to its website, “The NRHA strongly supports reauthorization and expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).” [National Rural Health Association, website]

American Academy of Family Physicians Urged Members to Contact Senators to Ask Them to Support CHIP Reauthorization. “AAFP has issued an Action Alert asking Academy members to contact their U.S. senators and urge them to support legislation reauthorizing the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.” [American Academy of Family Physicians News, 1/14/09]

Leadership Conference on Civil Rights: Enact a Strong State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) Reauthorization Bill. “Building on the success of Medicaid, SCHIP has significantly improved children’s access to health care, and has made great strides in covering racial and ethnic minority children. Despite the successes of SCHIP and Medicaid, nine million children remain uninsured, more than five million of whom are racial and ethnic minorities. We urge you to act quickly to approve a strong SCHIP reauthorization, and look forward to working with you to strengthen and build on the success of this important program.” [Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Letter to the House of Representatives, 1/13/09]

National Council of Jewish Women Called on the Senate to Pass Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization to Finally Improve the Program. In a statement, NCJW President Nancy Ratzan said,“NCJW has long supported improving SCHIP both for its critical role in ensuring that all children can receive necessary health care and as part of an ongoing effort to make health care affordable and accessible to all. We look forward to swift action by the Senate and by the new president that will finally get this job done." [National Council of Jewish Women Press Release, 1/14/09]

First Focus Said No Government Program Had Been More Successful than the Children’s Health Insurance Program – Praised the Reauthorization Bill Passed by the Senate Finance Committee. “No government program has been more successful in expanding children’s healthcare coverage than SCHIP. In these dire economic times, this program serves as a critical lifeline for millions of American families.” [First Focus Press Release, 1/15/09]

Families USA Called on Senators to Support CHIP Reauthorization, Giving Coverage to 4 Million Currently Uninsured Children. “On behalf of Families USA, the national voice of health care consumers, we urge you to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to ensure that children get access to quality, affordable health insurance they need and deserve.  The Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 would build upon the success of CHIP by providing health care coverage to 7 million eligible children, as well as more than four million currently uninsured children.  Every child deserves a healthy and safe start to life.  Healthier children are more likely to become productive citizens who contribute to the well-being of society, and this legislation will provide a better and healthier future for us all.” [Families USA Letter to Senators, 1/23/09]

Health Care for American Now Supported Passage of the CHIP Reauthorization. “Health Care for America Now (HCAN) is a national grassroots movement powered by millions of people working to win in 2009 a guarantee of quality, affordable health care we all can count on.  We are writing in support of the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009, reported out of the Senate Finance Committee on January 16. This bill protects the health coverage of millions of children already enrolled in the program and allows coverage of 3.9 million additional low-income uninsured children. SCHIP is a critical safety net program, particularly now, as families face unemployment and economic insecurity.” [Health Care for American Now Letter to Senator Baucus, 1/26/09]

March of Dimes Applauded Bipartisan Effort in Congress to Move CHIPRA Forward. In a statement, March of Dimes President Jennifer L. Howse said,“We applaud the strong bipartisan effort in Congress to move this bill forward and make it one of the first bills delivered to the White House after January 20.  As I mentioned in my 2007 Radio Address, the March of Dimes does not consider children’s health a partisan issue – it’s every family’s issue – and worry.  At a time when economic woes and job losses have put health coverage at risk, this bill is more necessary than ever.  That’s what moms have told us in Iowa and Oregon, and we know their stories can be found several times over in other parts of the country as well. CHIPRA is a critically important first step toward ensuring that millions of low income pregnant women and children have the health coverage they need.  Let’s do what it takes to get it done to measurably improve access to comprehensive and affordable health coverage for all women of childbearing age, infants and children.” [March of Dimes Press Release, 1/13/09]

National Association of Children’s Hospitals Called CHIP Reauthorization the Largest Investment in Children’s Health Since the Program Was Established in 1997. In a statement, NACH President and CEO Lawrence McAndrews said,“In its current form the bill represents the largest investment in children’s health care since SCHIP was enacted in 1997. We urge the U.S. Senate to follow the outstanding example set by the House and pass a similar SCHIP reauthorization bill so that a final one can be signed next week by President elect Obama.” [National Association of Children’s Hospitals Press Release, 1/14/09]