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Opinion: Keep children’s health tops in Iowa

To the Editor,

Here’s something every Iowan can be proud of. Our state ranks near the very top when it comes to making sure children have good health and dental care.

Unfortunately, that could change if you and I don’t take action soon.

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a partnership between the federal government and every state. It covers children and pregnant women who can’t afford private insurance and earn too much to qualify for Medicaid.

Hawk-i is Iowa’s version of CHIP and it is one of the nation’s best! It is the main reason why Iowa children have an uninsured rate of less than 4 percent!

Compared to uninsured children, children with health insurance do better in school and miss fewer days. They are more likely to graduate from high school, more likely to attend college, and more likely to earn higher wages. In addition, parents with healthy kids miss less work and are more productive workers.

Children’s health insurance is a great deal for Iowa’s state budget. Currently, we invest $8.5 million and the federal government covers the rest of the $133 million budget.

Recently, a bipartisan pair of U.S. Senators, Senators Hatch and Wyden, have announced continue federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). However, time is running out. If Congress misses the deadline, it will be a blow to Iowa children and to Iowa’s state budget.

We’ve come so far when it comes to making sure every child can see a doctor when they need too. Let’s not go backwards.

Take a minute today to reach out to Iowa’s members of Congress. Encourage them to renew the Children’s Health Insurance Program. You call the U.S. Capitol switchboard toll free by calling 1-877-210-5351.

Senator Amanda Ragan
Mason City, Iowa

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