Dingell, Pallone and Stupak Ask HHS to Explain Policy Shift on CHIP
New CMS Directive Would Cause Thousands of Children to Lose Access to Affordable Healthcare
Washington, DC -Three key leaders of the Committee on Energy and Commerce today sent the following letter to Michael O. Leavitt, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), questioning a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) directive that would limit the flexibility of States to extend health coverage through the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
The CMS directive, which was issued on August 17, 2007, would significantly change the criteria for review and approval of State initiatives to provide coverage to low-income uninsured children. This new policy was announced without any consultation with Congress, the States, or other stakeholders and deviates drastically from the current policies set forth in Federal statute and CMS's own regulations.