Every morning, Kyle Griffin begins the day by reminding everyone how many days it has been since Congress let CHIP (the Children’s Health Insurance Program) expire.
It's been 73 days since Congress let CHIP, the children's health insurance program that insures 9,000,000, expire.— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 12, 2017
As most of you know, CHIP provides affordable healthcare to children whose parents are not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid but don’t have enough money to pay for children’s healthcare on their own. One in eight children are on CHIP, and it’s a pretty big deal. In most cases, the states have been able to meet the financial demands of CHIP, but that money is quickly running out and if Congress doesn’t authorize spending, a lot of kids are going to be left without healthcare.
Now, CHIP wasn’t enacted until 1997, so a lot of us know what it’s like to grow up without healthcare. It means going to the emergency room when you need simple antibiotics, it means going without simple wellness visits, and it means if you break your fucking thumb sliding into second base when you’re 12 years old that you walk around with a hugely swollen green and purple thumb for weeks until it heals badly on its own.
CHIP is good stuff, and it’s hugely popular on both sides of the aisle, or at least it was before Trump came around and the Republicans started threatening to pull funding to pay for the Trump tax plan. But CHIP means enough to the children of this country that Jimmy Kimmel brought out his son, Billy, who has had a few operations since his birth, to manipulate us all into caring about something we should already be caring about.
It’s pretty effective, too. It helps that Kimmel is still in that new Dad/miracle baby weepy stage, a state of being that I know all too well.