Last week the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Championing Healthy Kids Act (H.R. 3922). While 1,000 Days supports the legislation’s inclusion of funding for Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Community Health Centers, and other health programs, we are deeply concerned about some of the offsets included in the bill. Specifically, the House bill cuts billions from the Prevention and Public Health Fund and jeopardizes families’ access to critical health coverage.
It has been more than a month since funding for CHIP expired. Without immediate Congressional action, health care for 9 million children and 370,000 pregnant women will remain in jeopardy. Additionally, funding for community health centers and other public health programs expired at the end of September. Congress is long-overdue in extending funding for these programs. However, by cutting the Prevention and Public Health Fund to pay for these extensions, Congress is undermining the very health care system America’s families depend on. The Prevention and Public Health Fund provides funding for many critical initiatives, including breastfeeding support programs, strengthening the public health infrastructure, and reducing health disparities. Together, these programs ensure pregnant women, young children and their families have access to the health care and support they need to be healthy and thrive.
1,000 Days urges Congress to find a bipartisan path forward that ensures all children and their families will have access to quality health coverage, without threatening other important public health programs.