Senator Merkley and Governor Brown push for permanent CHIP funding

LANE COUNTY, Ore. – Just before Christmas, Congress took action to reauthorize the Children’s Heath Insurance Program, also known as CHIP.

It was approved through a short-term spending bill in order to keep the government open.

However, the coverage only extends through this March, and many lawmakers are pushing for more permanent funding. Governor Kate Brown was in Eugene last month to underscore that message.U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley is pushing for the same, and says that bipartisan efforts by senators helped to launch the health program.

“The principal was that those families who aren’t eligible for Medicaid, but are not affluent enough to buy health insurance for their children should still have health care for their children,” said Senator Merkley.

Merkley says that along with CHIP, the federal program that funds community health clinics also needs renewal. Merkley says that about 7,000 children in Lane County receive benefits from the health insurance plan.