||April 20, 1999
||Dave Lemmon, Director of Communications
Robert Meissner, Deputy Director of Communications
Bryan Fisher, Press Secretary
Response from Ron Pollack, Executive Director of Families USA, on the Health Care Financing Administration's Release of CHIP Enrollment Figures
"Today's announcement concerning enrollment in the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is notable because it contains some good news, some disappointing news - and because it fails to paint a full picture of children's health coverage."The Health Care Financing Administration's report provides good news since it verifies that the program has the potential to cover millions of uninsured children. It contains some disappointing news because it clearly demonstrates that the states have done an uneven job in reaching out to eligible children, and many states clearly need to redouble their efforts.
"Perhaps most importantly, however, the report is incomplete because it fails to portray how hundreds of thousands of children are losing Medicaid coverage at the same time that youngsters are gaining coverage through CHIP. Most of these losses are occurring due to welfare reform. Thus, the report fails to show that we are taking steps backward at the same time that we are taking steps forward. "In a few weeks, Families USA will provide data about the losses of health coverage arising from welfare reform. At that point we will have a more complete picture of the health coverage cross-currents affecting children."
Families USA is the national organization for health care consumers. It is nonprofit and nonpartisan and advocates for high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans.
1201 New York Avenue NW, Suite 1100 · Washington, DC 20005
202-628-3030 · Email: firstname.lastname@example.org · www.familiesusa.org