2007 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Simmons
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION URGING THE MISSISSIPPI CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION TO DO ALL WITHIN THEIR POWER TO ENSURE THAT CONGRESS TIMELY REAUTHORIZES THE STATE CHILDREN'S HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM (CHIP).
WHEREAS, the health of our children is of paramount importance to families in the State of Mississippi. Poor child health is a threat to the educational achievement, social and psychological well-being of the children of our state; and
WHEREAS, protecting the health of our children is essential to the well-being of our youngest citizens and the quality of life in Mississippi; and
WHEREAS, the State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which has enrolled thousands of uninsured children in Mississippi since its inception in 1998, is an integral part of the arrangements for health benefits for the children of this state; and
WHEREAS, CHIP provides insurance coverage for uninsured children in Mississippi up to age 19 whose family income does not exceed 200% of Federal Poverty Level. A child must be determined ineligible for Medicaid before eligibility for CHIP can be considered. Children with current health insurance coverage at the time of application are not eligible for CHIP; and
WHEREAS, Mississippi CHIP beneficiaries enrolled in the program averaged 63,547 in FY2006; and
WHEREAS, CHIP was not reauthorized by Congress last year. It is up for reauthorization this year (by the end of the federal fiscal year - September) and there is much concern that some states will run out of funding very soon. Contrary to what has been written in some national media, it is uncertain if the Mississippi CHIP Program will be solvent through the federal fiscal year. Other states are looking at dramatic cuts and a possible shutdown of its CHIP program beginning as early as next month; and
WHEREAS, CHIP is a valuable program in preserving child wellness, preventing and treating childhood disease, improving health outcomes, and reducing overall health costs. The Legislature considers that federal funding for CHIP is indispensable to providing health benefits for children of modest means in Mississippi:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE CONCURRING THEREIN, That the Legislature urges the members of the Mississippi congressional delegation to the United States Congress to do all within their power to ensure that Congress timely reauthorizes the State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to assure continued federal funding for the CHIP in Mississippi.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Legislature urges the Governor to use his best efforts to work with the Mississippi congressional delegation to ensure that CHIP is reauthorized in a timely manner.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the members of the Mississippi congressional delegation, the Governor and be made available to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.