WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said that instead of going on Christmas break, Congress should stay in Washington until members do their jobs and pass a long-term extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and secure the pensions of Ohio workers.
Brown pointed out that the so-called three-month extension of CHIP, also known as Healthy Start in Ohio, doesn’t provide enough funding to actually cover all children and pregnant women in every state for a full three months. And, because the bill does nothing to provide certainty for states, parents will continue getting letters that their children may lose insurance.
“Congress hasn’t done its job all year long, and now Leader McConnell wants to pass another short term band aid and go on Christmas vacation,” said Brown. “Meanwhile, families are living in fear that their children are going to lose health insurance and retired workers are headed into Christmas without any security that the pensions they’ve earned will be there next year. Congress needs to stay here and do our jobs.”
Thursday on the Senate floor, Brown called on Congress to extend funding for CHIP for five years rather than the current three-month extension proposed by Congressional leadership. In October, Brown’s bipartisan bill to extend funding for CHIP for five years passed the Senate Finance Committee, but Senate leadership has yet to take up the bill on the Senate floor.
Brown has also called for passage of the Butch Lewis Act, his legislation to ensure that Ohio retirees can keep the pensions they’ve earned. His legislation has been consistently named as a top priority by Senate and House leadership.