Brown on House Chip Bill: Don’t Pit Ohio Kids Against Seniors

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) urged the House of Representatives to follow the Senate’s lead on the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and work toward a bipartisan solution for CHIP funding. Last month, the Senate Finance Committee – of which Brown is a member – voted nearly unanimously to pass a bipartisan deal that would lock in a five-year funding extension of CHIP. Rather than work in a bipartisan manner, the House today passed a partisan CHIP extension that while similar to the Senate bill, creates winners and losers by funding CHIP by raising costs for Ohio seniors and cutting critical public health funds. Brown is a sponsor of the Senate bill to extend funding for CHIP, which covers more than 209,000 Ohio children.

“We shouldn’t be pitting Ohio seniors against Ohio children,” said Brown. “That’s why Senator Portman and I, and our colleagues on the Finance Committee, voted for and continue to work on a bipartisan bill that takes care of children and their families without hurting seniors.”  

Unlike the Senate CHIP extension – which passed with strong bipartisan support in the Senate Finance Committee – the House bill passed on a near party-line vote today. The House CHIP extension would increase costs for many seniors in Medicare, and would slash funding for the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which provided Ohio with $22.9 million last year to help prevent disease.