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Pingree Cosponsors Legislation to Reauthorize Critical Health Care Programs that Serve Thousands of Maine Families

As partisan politics have needlessly held up the reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Community Health Centers and other important public health programs, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) is co-sponsoring a bill (H.R. 4541) that reauthorizes all of these programs and pays for it in a commonsense way that does not strip funds from other health care programs.  Funding for CHIP expired on September 30, putting health care for nine million American kids at risk.
“Maine is actually one of the few states where the number of uninsured children has gone up in recent years. We can’t afford to lose even more ground by not reauthorizing CHIP, which about 11,000 Maine children rely on for their health care. On top of that, partisan politics have also jeopardized the future of the Community Health Centers that serve over 200,000 Mainers every year,” Pingree said. “The reauthorization of these and other critical programs have been stalled because Congressional Republicans want to pay for them by undermining the country’s health care system in other ways. This is our answer to their unacceptable proposal: reauthorizing CHIP, Community Health Centers and other important public health programs while funding them in a commonsense way that doesn’t strip health insurance and services away from kids and families.”    
The legislation fully extends CHIP for five years, and Community Health Centers (CHCs) and other important public health programs for two years. It also takes important steps to address the critical health care needs of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.    
The bill pays for these programs by shifting the timing of payments to Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans, as recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General and the Government Accountability Office.   

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