APA Responds to Temporary CHIP Extension, Urges Congress to Reauthorize Health Insurance Funding for Five Years

ARLINGTON, Va. Dec. 21, 2017 – Today, Congress authorized a temporary extension of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which expired on Sept. 30. This stopgap measure only funds the program through the end of March. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has called for Congress to reauthorize the program for five years.“We are relieved that states will have temporary funding for children’s health insurance, but Congress must pass a long-term reauthorization of CHIP,” said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. “Nearly nine million children receive health care thanks to this program, including approximately 850,000 with serious behavioral or emotional disorders. CHIP is vital to keeping our nation’s children healthy and strong. We urge Congress to act with all possible speed to pass a five-year reauthorization of CHIP.”CHIP provides health insurance to children and adolescents from low-income families who do not qualify for their state’s Medicaid program. The CHIP program means children are more likely to have a reliable source of health and dental care and to have regular preventative care visits. Today, more than 95 percent of all children in America are enrolled in health insurance coverage.In September, the APA sent a letter to Congressional leadership imploring them to reauthorize this program. The APA is ready to work with members of both parties to ensure the continuation of this critical program for many of the country’s low-income children and youth.American Psychiatric AssociationThe American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country.  The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 37,000 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information, please visit www.psychiatry.org.