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ACA & CHIP

| Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Brad Bumsted's news story “Affordable Care Act likely to end CHIP” (Sept. 11 and TribLIVE.com) leaves readers with the false impression that the Affordable Care Act is ending the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). For most CHIP kids, there will be no change.

The health law will modernize the process of qualifying for Medicaid health coverage — a good thing for Pennsylvania's low-income children and families. It will reduce confusion and provide more families with better coverage.

Today, there are different rules for parents and children, leaving many parents of kids in CHIP and Medicaid uninsured. Children with uninsured parents are less likely to receive checkups and preventive care than children with insured parents. This change will fix that. Further, Medicaid provides a broader range of benefits for children than CHIP, at a lower cost.

The Corbett administration can protect the health of children and families by working with lawmakers to ensure that none of the 50,000 kids who move from CHIP to Medicaid see disruptions in care. They can ensure that CHIP providers accept Medicaid and even boost Medicaid reimbursement rates to providers — something the Affordable Care Act does for all primary care doctors in 2013-14.

Beth Heeb

The writer is executive director of the North Side-based Consumer Health Coalition (consumerhealthcoalition.org).

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