Cantwell Applauds Two-Year Anniversary of Children's Health Reauthorization

Cantwell-championed law has helped insure WA's children

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) applauded the two-year anniversary of the children’s health insurance reauthorization law she championed in 2009, which is helping to insure millions of low-income children. Under the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Reauthorization Act passed in 2009, Medicaid and CHIP together serve more than 42 million children today who would otherwise not have access to regular medical care. As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, Cantwell was instrumental in ensuring that Washington received its fair share of CHIP funds to help cover tens of thousands of uninsured Washington children.
“I am proud that legislation I helped enact two years ago is continuing to help millions of low-income children gain access to quality health insurance coverage, including thousands of uninsured children in Washington state,” said Senator Cantwell. “This Children’s Health Insurance Program provides a critical service to millions of families nationwide who otherwise couldn’t afford care, and I applaud Washington state’s innovative health systems for forging the way.” 
Washington state has long been a leader in providing children with access to care. The state’s Apple Health for Kids Program eases enrollment for children who meet eligibility standards. The program provides free health insurance to children of families that make below 200 percent of the federal poverty level and to children of families that make up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level with a small co-payment. 
Washington continues to gain national recognition for its innovative efforts to increase health coverage for uninsured children. In December 2010, Washington state was one of only 15 states awarded a portion of $206 million in “performance bonuses” by the Department of Health and Human Services for making significant progress in enrolling uninsured children in Medicaid. Washington received $17.6 million for streamlining enrollment procedures and increasing coverage for children. 
CHIP provides health insurance to children living in families not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid, but still unable to afford private health insurance.