Taking our Message to the Hill
President & CEO Larry Levine Advocates for the Reauthorization of CHIP in Washington D.C
President and CEO Larry Levine headed to Washington D.C. last week to meet with legislators and their staffs from the House of Representatives and Senate. While there he discussed ways to potentially break the Congressional impasse impeding the re-authorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for five more years.
Mr. Levine's three days in Washington included face-to-face meetings with Congressman John Faso (R) of New York's 19th District, as well as Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D) of New York's 17th District. Also joining Mr. Levine in D.C. was the Hospital's Chief Government Relations Officer, Adam Herbst. Mr. Herbst visited several additional legislative offices, also to emphasize the vital importance of passing CHIP legislation.
This critical children's healthcare program was created in 1997 with strong bipartisan support to provide coverage for children who fell above Medicaid eligibility levels, but couldn't afford private health insurance. Last year, CHIP was allowed to expire in September, but federal funding for the program has continued due to a number of continuing resolutions piecemealed by Congress.
CHIP provides coverage for nine-million children across the U.S., and 700,000 in New York. This program, along with Medicaid, has helped reduce the rate of uninsured children in the U.S. to an all-time low of 5%. Yet, despite bipartisan agreement on policy that would extend this crucial, popular program long-term, Congress has yet to find a solution acceptable to both parties to reauthorize funding.
"I went to Capitol Hill to advocate for the passing of at least a five-year reauthorization of CHIP so children can continue to receive vital medical and preventative care, as well as to ease anxiety among families," said Mr. Levine. "No parent should face the uncertainty of not knowing whether CHIP will continue because of its expiration, and rely only on short-term appropriations to continue its funding. We take very seriously our role as spokespeople on behalf of medically fragile children and their families."
To learn more about Blythedale's commitment to reauthorizing CHIP and advocacy on behalf of our children and their families, please watch the video below.
About Blythedale Children’s Hospital
As New York’s only freestanding, specialty children’s hospital, Blythedale is dedicated to improving the health and quality of life of children with medical complexity, not only through superb multi-disciplinary patient care, but also through teaching, research, and advocacy programs. Blythedale’s board-certified physicians, nurses, and other clinical staff (social workers, respiratory therapists, clinical pharmacists, Child Life specialists, etc.) and New York State’s largest hospital-based pediatric therapy department work together to provide intensive and innovative multi-disciplinary clinical and therapeutic care to help children achieve their medical and rehabilitative goals for independent living, and return to their communities. Blythedale is also the only Hospital in New York State with its own, on-site public school district.
For more information about Blythedale Children’s Hospital, visit www.blythedale.org.