February 04,2009

Baucus Hails Signature of CHIP Law

Finance Chairman Baucus led effort to renew and expand Children’s Health Insurance Program

Washington, DC – Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) today hailed President Barack Obama’s signature of the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 into law. Baucus has been a longtime champion of CHIP, the hugely successful program that brings health care to uninsured children living in families not poor enough for Medicaid, but still unable toafford private health insurance. In January, Baucus led Finance Committee and Senate passage of the $32.8 billion legislation that will now preserve coverage for as many as 6.7 million children enrolled in the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and that will bring new health coverage to 4.1 million additional low-income, uninsured American children.

“This journey has always had one goal: to bring health care to as many uninsured kids in low-income, working families as possible,” Baucus said. “The fight to renew and expand the Children’s Health Insurance Program was long and at times very frustrating, but it was not nearly as hard or as frustrating as the challenges faced by parents who work hard every day but still can’t afford to take their sick child to a pediatrician. I am proud that with President Obama’s signature today,nearly 11 million kids will be able to count on the Children’s Health Insurance Program for thecare they need to stay healthy. Our kids have been waiting far too long for this day. It’s truly a victory for them.”

The legislation signed by President Obama today originated in the Senate Finance Committee, and was passed by the full Senate on January 29, 2009. The bill is nearly identical to 2007 legislation written by Baucus and Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), and Orrin Hatch (RUtah). The 2007 legislation was approved overwhelmingly by both the Senate and the House, but vetoed twice by President George W. Bush.

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