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Daily Action: No More Excuses - Restore CHIP Now!

Sen. Dianne Feinstein

DC: (202) 224-3841
LA: (310) 914-7300
Sen. Kamala Harris
DC: (202) 224-3553
LA:  (213) 894-5000
Rep. Julia Brownley: 
DC: (202) 225-5811
Thousand Oaks: (805) 379-1779
Rep. Ted Lieu:
DC: (202) 225-3976
LA: (323) 651-1040
Rep. Steve Knight:
DC: (202) 225-1956
Simi Valley: (805) 581-7130

Sample Script:
Hello, my name is __________, and I am a constituent of Senator/Representative ___________'s in _______________, California. I am calling to urge the senator/congressperson to make sure that no long-term funding scheme passes next week without including a reauthorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program. The Congressional Budget Office has shown that insuring children through CHIP actually will SAVE the government money, now that Republicans have triggered a rise in Affordable Care Act subsidies by repealing the individual mandate. In those circumstances, there simply are no more excuses for failing to achieve a long-term renewal for CHIP. Thank you!

Even as states scramble to figure out how they'll respond to Congress' failure to renew the Children's Health Insurance Program last fall, the Congressional Budget Office has released new estimates that dramatically lower the presumed cost of renewing the program that has provided coverage for about 9 million low-income children. The CBO sent a letter last weekend to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, saying that CHIP's total cost over 10 years would be just $800 million — far less than the original estimate of $8.2 billion.

Lawmakers have bickered over Republicans' demand that funding for a CHIP restoration must be found by cutting other programs. Congress has included temporary funding lifelines for CHIP in its last two short-term budget extensions -- but some states are running out of time and money, and are preparing to shut down their agencies devoted to distributing funds under the program. 

The dramatic change in cost estimates for CHIP is a consequence of Republicans' repeal of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate, which passed as part of the #TrumpTaxScam. Because several million (mostly healthy) people are expected to leave the individual marketplace as a result of the appeal, premiums for those still receiving coverage through the ACA are expected to rise quickly -- and so will the subsidies provided by the government to lower-income Americans, to offset those premiums. CBO analysts point out that under those circumstances, it will be far less expensive to provide children with insurance through the existing CHIP infrastructure than it will be to pay the increased ACA subsidies, if CHIP ceases to exist and parents enter the ACA exchanges in order to cover those children.