Washington, D.C. – With the support of Alaska Congressman Don Young, today the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3922, the Championing Healthy Kids Act, bipartisan legislation to fund important safety net programs like the state Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP), known as Denali KidCare in Alaska, and Federal Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs).
“These two programs, which have provided valuable services and care to underserved Alaskans for years, were both extremely important to fund and reauthorize,” said Congressman Don Young. “Although some unnecessary confusion was created by not addressing this sooner, I’m happy to see progress being made on these bipartisan priorities before states exhausted their funding. We’ve seen the success of both Denali KidCare and Community Health Centers across nearly every corner of our state, particularly in areas where services might otherwise not be offered due to population size and remoteness. Denali KidCare continues to support our youth and in doing so is making a strong investment in our future. And Alaska-based Community Health Centers are making critical contributions to our state – in both rural and urban locations – by offering affordable health solutions and care. I look forward to moving this package forward and ensuring these programs are renewed for the betterment of our state and our people.”
Among other important health priorities, this legislation supports the following:
- 5-year Extension of The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), a state and federal partnership that provides health care to children in lower-income families. According to the Alaska Division of Health Services, more than 17,700 Alaska children receive their health insurance through the CHIP program or DenaliKid Care. The legislation extends CHIP funding through FY 2022 and ensures children continue to receive coverage through state CHIP programs rather than through the ACA exchanges and Medicaid.
- 2 Year Extension of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) or Community Health Centers. These community-based, patient centered organizations FQHCs (community health centers) are community-based, patient-centered organizations that provide comprehensive health services to medically underserved populations, regardless of their ability to pay. FQHCs are located across all corners of Alaska (click here for Alaska-based locations). The bill extends funding for these centers for two years through the Community Health Center Fund.