Ron calls for renewal of CHIP at Randall Children’s Hospital
As part of Ron’s work to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), he spoke on Friday in Portland with pediatricians, medical officials and healthcare advocates for the African-American and Latino communities.
What Ron heard during his meeting at Randall Children’s Hospital was agreement on the need for Congress to extend CHIP -- and to do so quickly so that state legislatures nationwide can know they can count on the federal program as they put together their budgets.
“What I am hearing from advocates like you is the need for certainty and predictability,’’ said Ron, who also toured the children’s hospital--Oregon’s largest provider of pediatric inpatient and trauma services.
About 10 million children rely on CHIP for access to comprehensive, affordable health care. In Oregon, that includes 128,000 children, a number that would fill each seat in Portland’s Moda Center six times over.
The uninsured rate for children has dropped dramatically since CHIP’s enactment, nationally from 14 percent in 1997 to a record low of 7 percent in 2012--and in Oregon over the same time period, the rate of 10 percent in 1997 has been nearly cut in half.
“We should build on this success,” Ron said, “not put it at risk.”