Rep. Joe Kennedy Torches GOP Congress For Screwing Over Low-Income Kids

Last night, congressional Republicans went after healthcare for low-income kids and loans for low-income students. Through inaction, they killed the Children’s Health Insurance Program, a stunningly successful program that has dropped the uninsured rate among low-income children massively over the two decades it has been active. CHIP has ensured that nine million children were insured who otherwise would not be — and Republicans just let it expire.

Here’s more from the Los Angeles Times:

Advocates for children’s health started worrying months ago that congressional incompetence would jeopardize the nation’s one indisputable healthcare success — the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which has reduced the uninsured rate among kids to 5% from 14% over the two decades of its existence.

Their fears turned out to be true. Funding for CHIP runs out on Saturday, and no vote on reestablishing the program’s $15-billion appropriation is expected for at least a week, probably longer. That’s the case even though CHIP is one of the few federal programs that has enjoyed unalloyed bipartisan support since its inception in 1997. The consequences will be dire in many states, which will have to curtail or even shut down their children’s health programs until funding is restored. Hanging in the balance is care for 9 million children and pregnant women in low-income households.

What happened? The simple answer is that congressional Republicans’ last harebrained attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act got in the way. A funding bill for CHIP seemed to be well on its way to enactment until a week or so ago. That’s when the effort to pass the egregious Cassidy-Graham repeal bill sucked all the air out of the legislative room.

This is obviously an unacceptable situation, and Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) isn’t taking it laying down. He tweeted out an assault on GOP inaction today, helping keep people aware of the incompetence of their congressional representation:

And he wasn’t the only one who is pissed, either:

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If you agree that this is completely unacceptable, contact your representative today and ask why they have not taken action on CHIP.


Featured image via Alex Wong/Getty Images