As the national association representing more than 8,500 pediatric nurse practitioners and fellow pediatric-focused advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) committed to providing optimal health care for children, the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) is glad that, as part of the short-term government funding resolution, Congress intends to provide some help to states that have exhausted federal funding for their Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). However, Congress is still not reauthorizing the program — 68 days after its funding expired and as a growing number of states are forced to start notifying families that their children could lose their health coverage.
This short-term patch is only necessary because Congress has failed to enact a long-term reauthorization of CHIP funding – even though both the House and Senate reached a strong bipartisan agreement months ago on a five-year extension. The failure to include that long-term reauthorization in this continuing resolution is yet another missed opportunity for Congress to prevent further damage to a program that 9 million children and more than 370,000 pregnant women are counting on for their health care. NAPNAP and its members call on Congress to act immediately to pass the bipartisan long-term CHIP reauthorization before this delay causes real harm to children’s health care.