Finance Leaders Ask HHS To Release Studies On Children’s Health Insurance Program
Washington, DC - Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Ranking RepublicanMember Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) are calling on the Department of Health and Human Services(HHS) to release information on a number of Congressionally-mandated and other evaluations ofthe Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) which appear to be either completed or pendingwith HHS. CHIP provides health coverage to children whose parents do not qualify forMedicaid, but cannot afford private insurance. Baucus and Grassley are leading efforts to renewand improve the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Its authorization expires on September30.
“Accurate, unpoliticized information about the Children’s Health Insurance Program canhelp Congress in its current effort to get health care to millions of children in America’sworking families,” said Baucus. “Studies requested by Congress, as well as other taxpayerfundedinformation, should be provided to Congress in a timely fashion, and so we’reasking for a progress report from the Secretary now.”
Grassley said, “Congress is in the middle of working to re-authorize CHIP. To make thebest possible policy decisions, lawmakers need access to all relevant information about thisprogram, especially from the agency that administers it.”
The text of the senators’ September 11 letter to HHS follows here.
September 11, 2007
Via Electronic Transmission
The Honorable Michael O. LeavittSecretaryDepartment of Health and Human Services200 Independence Avenue, SWWashington, DC 20201
Dear Secretary Leavitt:
As you know, reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) continuesto be a priority for Congress. As we work to finalize legislation to send to the President, wecontinue to be interested in how the decade-old program is working.
Your Department has performed, or contracted to have performed, many evaluations and studiesof CHIP and its effects over the past decade. Some were even mandated by Congress. Theinformation in these reports has been helpful during our discussions about reauthorization ofCHIP.
We know the Department has taken great interest in providing information on the CHIP programas Congress debates reauthorization. To the extent that HHS has outstanding research projectsthat provide additional insights into how the CHIP program is working, we would hope theAdministration would be forthcoming with such information immediately. We are writing to askyou to identify all contracts and other agreements or arrangements your Department or any of itsagencies has entered into with any outside entity to evaluate, study or analyze in any way how theCHIP program works.
We have particular interest in any contracts or agreements the Department or any of its agencieshas with Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (Mathematica). Mathematica conducted thecongressionally-mandated evaluations of CHIP, and the HHS website indicates that Mathematicais performing additional CHIP evaluations and will deliver additional reports.
Please identify for and provide to the Committee copies of all contracts the Department or any ofits agencies has with Mathematica related to CHIP evaluations or analysis. Please also identifyall deliverables due under each contract, including the type of deliverable, its content and the duedate, and provide the current status for each one. For deliverables that are written products,please be sure to provide the date of every draft and final version as well as copies of the initialdraft and final version submitted by Mathematica. Please make sure the Committee receives thisinformation by Monday, September 17th.
If the Department or any of its agencies has contracted with an entity other than Mathematicarelated to CHIP evaluation or analysis, please provide to the Committee the same informationrequested above for each other contractor by Monday, September 24th.We know you join us in a strong desire to provide America’s children access to health care. Wethank you in advance for your prompt attention to this request. Please have your staff direct anyquestions to [Finance staff].
Max Baucus Charles E. GrassleyChairman Ranking Member# # #
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