CHICAGO – Children’s advocates in Illinois are pushing the US Senate to pass the Build Back Better Act, after it was passed by the House last month.
They say it would improve Medicaid and CHIP, the federal children’s health insurance program, by providing 12 months of continuous coverage to eligible children and making federal CHIP funding permanent.
Stephanie Altman, director of healthcare justice and senior director of policy at the Shriver Center on Poverty Law, said Illinois already has 12 months of permanent coverage. However, she added, permanent funding for CHIP, along with lower premiums on plans under the Affordable Care Act, would make a big difference for families in Illinois. She said the need was highlighted during the special COVID registration period.
“We had 54,000 people registered in the health insurance market during that time,” she said, “likely due to the loss of jobs and the loss of health insurance, and the need to enter the market, but also because there was more generous premium coverage “.
Altman said Build Back Better’s policies, from affordable child care to extending the child tax credit, would help families ensure children’s basic needs are met. Opponents of the budget bill say it is too expensive.
Build Back Better would also cover a person for 12 months after childbirth, a policy already in place in Illinois. In a new brief from the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University, co-author Joan Alker, professor-researcher at the McCourt School of Public Policy in Georgetown and executive director of its Center for Children and Families, said that postpartum coverage for mothers improves outcomes for their children. also. During the Trump years, she noted, one in 10 children nationwide experienced a coverage gap.
“After seeing this disturbing reverse in the progress we had made as a country in reducing the number of uninsured children, which stopped in 2017 and started to move in the wrong direction,” he said. she said, “The Build Back Better bill would really turn the tide and start moving the country forward in the right direction.”
In Illinois, children in families of three who earn up to about $ 69,000 per year are eligible for affordable health coverage through Medicaid and the state’s CHIP program, “Illinois All Kids.”
receive more stories like this by email