Buchanan’s bipartisan bill would permanently reauthorize CHIP

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) took action this week to protect children’s health insurance by unveiling the bipartisan Comprehensive Access to Robust Insurance Now Guaranteed (CARING) for Kids Act.

Rep. Buchanan cosponsored H.R. 6151 with bill sponsor U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-IA) to permanently reauthorize the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which is administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide matching funds to states for health insurance to families with children.

“This important program provides peace of mind to families that if their children get sick they will get the medical attention they need,” said Rep. Buchanan, whose office noted that under current law, CHIP requires reauthorization every few years, placing its funding in jeopardy and making the program a bargaining chip in legislative negotiations.

Nationwide, 9.6 million children are enrolled in CHIP, including nearly 380,000 children in Florida, according to the congressman, who is a long-time supporter of CHIP.

In 2018, for example, Rep. Buchanan opposed President Donald Trump’s proposal to rescind more than $7 billion in funding for the program and in 2007 he was one of 44 Republicans to vote to override then-President George W. Bush’s veto of a bill extending the program, according to his office.

“Too many kids’ futures are on the line if CHIP funding expires even temporarily,” added Rep. Finkenauer. “This bill will cut out uncertainty and help protect the health and well-being of our next generation.”

H.R. 6151 has been referred for consideration to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee.

“Investing in affordable health care coverage for our nation’s children saves money in the long run,” Rep. Buchanan said, “and it’s the right thing to do.”