Thousands of Sixth District children may lose health insurance next year. Does Goodlatte care?

Even though nearly one-third of the children living in the Sixth District obtain health care through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Congressman Goodlatte has never been a friend of those vital laws.

In 2009, for example, he voted against a law that extended CHIP coverage to four million children without health insurance.

Now The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports:

Virginia will run out of money to provide health care to 65,000 children from low-income families by January if federal lawmakers fail to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which is set to expire when the federal fiscal year ends Sept. 30, said Linda Nablo, chief deputy director of the Department of Medical Assistance Services, which administers the services in question.

“It’s just insane,” Nablo said in an interview. “I cannot imagine that Congress would want to have on their plates that they just ended coverage for millions of children.”

Enacted in 1997, CHIP — which is operated in Virginia as Family Access to Medical Insurance Security, or FAMIS — has been reauthorized by Congress every few years without much fuss. But this year it has been overlooked in the tumult raised over the Republican-controlled Congress’s latest attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, known as the Graham-Cassidy bill.

Although Goodlatte has touched on a number of other matters on his Twitter account and Facebook page in recent weeks, he has yet to say a word publicly about the impending health crisis facing thousands of children in his district. You’d think this would be one of his highest priorities.

Let’s hope the congressman can finally overcome his hostility to helping children from low-income families obtain health care their families could otherwise not afford.

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