Letter to the Editor: Local families depend on CHIP


The Children’s Health Insurance Program provides health coverage for children in working class families. In Virginia, 24 percent of children are covered by CHIP. In Shenandoah County, that number jumps to 33 percent. These families have modest incomes, but make too much to qualify for Medicaid and don’t get health coverage through their employers. For 20 years, CHIP has enjoyed broad bipartisan support.

Until now. In September, funding for CHIP expired. Two weeks ago the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services had to send letters to thousands of Virginia families stating that Virginia’s CHIP program would end on Jan. 31. One in three children in our community are at risk if Congress doesn’t act fast.

Unfortunately, this Republican-led Congress has been too busy trying to pass tax cuts for millionaires and corporations to fund this vital program. I encourage all in the county to contact Congressman Goodlatte to insist that CHIP be fully funded without delay. All our neighbors, regardless of political party affiliation, deserve peace of mind that their children will be covered in 2018.

Jeanne Theis, Woodstock

[Editor’s note: Last week Congress passed short-term legislation that extended CHIP to March.]