The Pennsylvania Senate Banking and Insurance Committee voted 14-1 in favor of House Bill 1388 which would reauthorize the Pennsylvania Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, which is set to expire on December 31, 2017. The measure would allow CHIP to continue through December 31, 2019.
Additionally, the committee adopted an amendment to the bill, sponsored by Sen. Don White (R-Armstrong) that would guarantee CHIP funding is used for its intended purpose of providing health care for children, not to pay for sex reassignment surgery and services.
“I don’t think in any way, shape or form that covering sex reassignment surgery should be part of the CHIP program that we set up years and years ago and is one of the model programs in the country that has been duplicated,” said White.
Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati said before the committee, “This goes far beyond what the CHIP program was designed to do. I will not accept, and I will reject the notion that we are discriminating against anybody.”
The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference and the Pennsylvania Catholic Health Association have been proponents of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, since its inception.
Across the nation, CHIP currently covers 9 million children with health insurance. More than 176,000 Pennsylvania children are covered by CHIP’s comprehensive, effective and affordable coverage.
Although CHIP remains a popular and valuable health insurance tool, it must be reauthorized in order to continue offering coverage.