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Local Health Leaders Push For Extension Of 'CHIP' Funding

Flu shot

Central Ohio public health advocates gained some political support on Monday to keep funding intact for a children’s health insurance program.

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown visited a south side health center to promote continued federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program. It helps low income workers purchase health care for their children.

“These are parents who make $9, and $10, $11 an hour whose employers don’t offer health insurance and who don’t make enough money themselves to pay for it,” Brown said.

Columbus Health Commissioner, Doctor Teresa Long, said 13,000 Franklin County children are currently covered by the program.

“It helps us solve infant mortality, and it helps us address obesity, and overweight and chronic disease prevention.”

Funding for CHIPs runs out in September unless Congress renews the program. Brown wants funding to continue at current levels. A competing proposal in the senate calls for less funding. The Congressional Budget office estimates it will cost $15 billion this year to cover six million children eligible nationwide.