Congress leaves town for holidays without fulfilling promises to Louisiana children and families
Members of Congress are leaving for their holiday vacations without finishing critical business that affects the lives of children and families across Louisiana. The short-term spending bill Congress passed Thursday night failed to fully fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and did not include an agreement on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The bill also raids the Affordable Care Act’s Public Health and Prevention Fund to fund Community Health Centers, shifting funds from one health priority to another. It is completely irresponsible to cut the public health fund, especially on the heels of passing a tax bill that adds at least $1.5 trillion to the national debt over the next decade to enrich corporations.
The Republican members of Congress from Louisiana prioritized the richest and most powerful individuals and corporations over children’s health coverage. Their neglect has left state health officials trying to hold Louisiana’s CHIP program together under very difficult circumstances, while holding out hope that Congress will make good on its promise to keep kids covered.
As soon as it returns from Christmas vacation, Congress must abandon its plans for further attacks on Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, and work in a bipartisan fashion on a long-term funding plan for CHIP, Community Health Centers, and passage of the DREAM Act.