The Children's Dental Health Project's blog
CHIP works for families
We all have something to celebrate: the dental benefit in the Children's Health Insurance Program is five years old today.
CHIP was reauthorized in 2009 — with dental benefits for all enrollees — through bipartisan support. Thanks to that leadership, about 8 million children rely on CHIP for dental/health care each year. As we wrote last week, CHIP helps working families who are squeezed by depressed wages and a challenging job market.
CHIP has provided families the peace of mind that their children can access medical and dental coverage — its success should be celebrated and continued. One remarkable CHIP champion, Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, is working to preserve and extend CHIP funding, which could expire in 2015. In a new blog post, Senator Rockefeller reflects on his personal commitment to coverage:
"Because I believe so strongly that every child deserves access to dental care – whether it is from a dentist or dental hygienist, or at a primary care clinic or school-based health center – I fought to include dental coverage in all Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) plans when the law was reauthorized five years ago this month. ...
"Sadly, not everyone is able to access dental care or the resources that are known to prevent dental diseases and protect dental health. One of the many memories I have from my days as VISTA volunteer in Emmons (W.Va.) is driving kids to the dentist for their very first dental exam. This particular experience was so meaningful to me, and ever since then, I have worked to make sure all children have access to good oral health care. No child should be denied this care because of where they live or because their parents can’t afford it."
We hear you, Senator. And we couldn't agree more.
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