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CHIP Approval Could End Insurance Revolving Door for Many TN Children

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 By Dick LaymanContact
February 5, 2009

Nashville, TN – After being vetoed twice by former President Bush, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) has been signed into law by President Obama. The program provides health insurance for children from families too well-off to qualify for Medicaid, but not well-off enough to easily afford private health insurance.

Tony Garr, executive director of the Tennessee Health Care Campaign, says this is a chance for the Tennessee Legislature to modernize Tenn Care and Cover Kids.

"This bill will provide extra money to states that simplify their enrollment process. So, this actually could mean the state could get some extra money."

Garr says, if state lawmakers make use of the funds provided by the CHIP reauthorization, it will mean many more children in Tennessee will have access to health insurance.

"We know that there are 125,000 uninsured children in Tennessee, and this is a mechanism we should use to make sure all children are covered."

Only a handful of lawmakers voted against the bill out of concern it would begin to replace private health insurance.

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