WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said President Trump did the right thing by working with Democrats to strike a deal that funds the government, pays the nation’s debts and provides desperately needed aid to hurricane victims. The three-month extension compromise passed the Senate today. Brown hopes the bipartisan cooperation will continue with important work like reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
“President Trump did the right thing – he reached across the aisle and worked with both parties to get this done. That’s the work we were elected to do,” said Brown. “Now it’s time to continue working together to raise workers’ wages, renegotiate NAFTA, combat opioids, pass tax reform that puts working families first, and improve healthcare – starting by reauthorizing the successful Children’s Health Insurance Program.”
The Affordable Care Act reauthorized CHIP through 2019, but funding for the program is set to expire this month. CHIP – known in Ohio as “Healthy Start” – is a joint state-federal health insurance program for low to moderate income children and pregnant women who are not Medicaid eligible. Healthy Start helps cover more than 209,000 Ohioans. While the Healthy Start program in Ohio is funded until the end of the year, extending funding for CHIP is important to provide certainty to states that the program will continue and to families that their children will continue to be covered under the health insurance program.
Sen. Brown today called for bipartisan work to improve healthcare. He and his Republican colleague, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) today asked Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price to work with them to fix the healthcare system so it keeps people healthy, rather than just treating them when they are sick.
In May, Brown sent a four-point plan for NAFTA renegotiation to President Trump. Brown’s four-point NAFTA plan builds on Brown’s efforts to work with President Trump to fulfill the President’s campaign promises on trade.
Immediately after President Trump’s election, Brown reached out to his transition team to offer his help on retooling U.S. trade policy. Brown wrote to Trump in November offering specific steps to work together on trade and Trump responded with a handwritten note. Brown opposed NAFTA when it was first passed. He now sits on the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over trade agreements.