Sen. Murkowski Votes for the Children's Health Insurance Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today issued the following statement on Senate passage late Thursday of legislation reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). CHIP provides comprehensive health care coverage to low-income and uninsured children.
“This program has been an exceptionally important means of providing the most vulnerable of our population--our children--with health care,” Murkowski said. “Congress must ensure that a downturn in the economy does not adversely affect health care for low-income children and children of the working poor.”
The reauthorization, which provides an additional $32.8 billion over the next 4 1/2 years, extends coverage for the seven million children currently enrolled, and adds an additional four million children to the CHIP program. Under the legislation, Alaska would receive $22.3 million annually, roughly doubling the amount of money the state receives in CHIP funding and will continue coverage for over 29,000 children.
The Senate approved the measure 66 – 32. Similar legislation passed the House of Representatives earlier this month. A Senate-House conference committee will meet to iron out differences in each chamber’s version of the bill.