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Reauthorize CHIP

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now and then, Uncle Sam does something that is truly meaningful. The Children's Health Insurance Plan, or CHIP as it is called, is one of those things. Now ten years old, CHIP must be reauthorized by Congress this year for it to continue. In KSL's view, keeping CHIP's basic plan in place is a no-brainer.

Unfortunately, needless efforts to expand the scope of CHIP are threatening its future.

As it now stands, CHIP provides states with federal matching funds to cover uninsured children of struggling families with incomes that are above Medicaid eligibility levels. Some in Congress, though, want more middle income families included under the CHIP umbrella, which would significantly expand the cost of CHIP at both federal and state levels.

KSL supports Senator Orrin Hatch's efforts to have CHIP reauthorized at levels commensurate with what was intended when he helped craft the original measure in 1997. CHIP must not become a casualty of attempts to use it as a springboard toward more universal government-funded health care in this nation.

In the decade since it first passed, CHIP has benefited more than 110,000 Utah children in lower income families. Let's hope Uncle Sam's minions don't get carried away and fatally harm one of the really good things they've done.

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