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Congressman Tom Emmer

Representing the 6th District of Minnesota

Emmer Introduces Legislation to Ensure Care for Vulnerable Mothers and Children

November 16, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) introduced legislation to provide a fix for Minnesota’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funding and provide more flexibility for the state.

On November 3, the House adopted the CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS Act, H.R. 3922, to reauthorize the CHIP program for five years. Minnesota is one of two states that faces a fine after expending all of its CHIP funding and requiring alternative funding to get through November 30. Minnesota has opted to carry-over funds in order to ensure that pregnant women currently receiving CHIP coverage will continue to receive health care for the entirety of their nine-month pregnancy. Unfortunately, current law penalizes state foresight and flexibility, and instead imposes a fine on any state who utilizes carry-over funds.

This legislative fix would eliminate the fine and effectively save the state of Minnesota approximately $10 million.

“Because of lack of action by the Senate, Minnesota has already been forced to find alternative funding in order to continue coverage for CHIP recipients,” said Emmer. “What’s even worse, despite the state’s efforts to ensure we do not leave pregnant women in the lurch, Minnesota will be penalized. I am proud to introduce legislation to allow Minnesota more flexibility to continue providing coverage for children and pregnant mothers while we wait for the Senate to pass legislation reauthorizing CHIP.”

The State CHIP Flexibility Act is H.R. 4404. Rep. Collin Peterson (MN-07), Rep. Erik Paulsen (MN-03) and Rep. Jason Lewis (MN-02) are original cosponsors of the legislation. Click here to read full text.

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