AFT Urges Full Funding for Childrens Health Insurance Program

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For Release: 

Contact:

Janet Bass

WASHINGTON—Statement by American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on support for an extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program:

“The Children’s Health Insurance Program is critical to keeping kids healthy and ready to learn. It has received strong bipartisan support since its creation in 1997, and we have seen over the last 20 years how important it is, which is why we are asking Congress to act immediately to extend it.

“For countless months, Republican congressional leaders tried to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, saying they were simply trying to make things better. Let’s see that intent turned into action by not making things worse for children. Letting CHIP expire puts in jeopardy the health and well-being of 9 million children who regularly rely on the program for routine checkups, immunizations, medicine, dental care and eyeglasses. Without these services, 9 million kids could go to school sick or unable to read or engage because they need glasses, have ear infections or have toothaches. Children can’t learn if their health needs are not being properly met.

We ask House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to put the bill to renew CHIP on the floor immediately.

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.

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