OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma 5th District candidate for Congress Kendra Horn issued the following statement today regarding the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) loss of funding over 100 days ago:
“The current Congress’ complete lack of action speaks to priorities, or lack thereof, when it comes to supporting health care for working families. There are ways to encourage people to contribute to their own success, and my priorities include funding core services and creating opportunities for struggling families. To receive CHIP, parents have to be working. We say we want people to work and contribute, well that’s exactly what this program does.
According to the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy1, CHIP “was instrumental in lowering the number of children who were uninsured.” The number of uninsured children in Oklahoma has fallen from 14% to 7% since the passage of CHIP. The Oklahoma Health Care Authority estimates a loss of nearly $50 million in direct assistance to Oklahoma children if federal lawmakers fail to act.2
“In the past 100 days Congress has passed their own version of tax reform which was nowhere near ready, and no one knows what the consequences will be other than ballooning the national debt and threatening programs like Social Security and Medicare. In the meantime, Congress has put the health care of children from working families in jeopardy. My priorities are different, and I would put children first. In 100 days Congress created new tax breaks for millionaires, but they couldn’t be bothered to take the time and make sure sick kids can go to the hospital without bankrupting families.
“Instead of reupping a program with historic bipartisan support, Steve Russell and the Republican Congressional Leadership have punted meaningless legislation to the Senate for even more political games. There is simply no excuse for not reaching an agreement last September before funding for CHIP expired. If you care about families, this should have been done months ago, period.
“If Steve Russell and his colleagues want to talk about working, accountability and supporting families, well so do I. There is nothing more important to me than helping your child get healthy. I want to make sure sick kids can see a doctor without jeopardizing their parent’s job. That is my priority and that is what accountability means. Steve Russell has forgotten our priorities, allowing the politicians in Washington to turn 120,000 Oklahoma children into bargaining chips for their petty political games."
“This Congress is historic only for its ability to do nothing, which is the result of electing do-nothing members like Steve Russell to Congress. Voters in the Fifth District have learned our lesson, which is why I’m running to restore common sense to Congress.
Kendra Horn decided to run for Congress to bring a fresh voice opposed the gridlock in Washington, D.C. In Congress, Kendra will tackle Oklahomans’ most pressing problems. She will fight every day to make life more affordable for the middle class, to guarantee that everyone has access to health care, to ensure women receive equal pay for equal work, and to give every child the opportunity to receive a first-class education. For more information, visit kendrahorn.com.