Media Room

REMARKS AS PREPARED

January 5, 2018

Roughly one in ten Oregon children get the care they need through CHIP.

Oregon will be one of the first states to lose CHIP funding when funding runs out.

Over 80,000 children and pregnant women could lose access to the doctors and medications they need.

Unfortunately Congress is focused on helping the wealthy and well-connected.

Here in Oregon we’re focused on our people, not the powerful.

That’s why 98 percent of children have health care coverage.

Thanks to progress we made this last legislative session, 100 percent of children will have access to health care. We cannot and will not go backwards.

I have directed the Oregon Health Authority to continue coverage through the end of April for children and families who are at risk of losing access to health care.

This allows us to continue to provide the care these kids and families rely on until Congress makes the right decision.

Because children’s health care is too important to play political games with. 

The anxiety caused by this uncertainty takes a toll on the well-being of these families.

Short term fixes still leave these families in limbo, and their fear of what is ahead is not changed by an extension of a few weeks.

CHIP makes all the difference to these families.  Being able to count on their children’s health care means that parents can stay in their jobs and homes, that an illness or accident won’t begin a spiral into further financial difficulty that could be catastrophic.

Many of these families are hanging by a thread, and CHIP is that thread. 

Recently, I met Diego, who is 8 years old. He has a condition that requires him to use hearing aids and see an audiologist. 

As he grows, he will need to get new hearing aids, and his condition will need to be monitored. Without that help, he would not be able to function at school. 

Right now, CHIP provides that coverage. It makes all the difference for Diego to grow and thrive instead of constantly struggle.

Diego’s family needs to be able to count on that coverage, not just for the next few months, but for the rest of his childhood. 

Thank you all, for joining us in stepping up for your fellow Oregonians.