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Don't Shortchange CHIP

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No doubt about it - a good case can be made for more fully funding a lot of vital programs designed to ease the burdens and improve life for many of our state's most vulnerable and needy citizens. In KSL's view, though, the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, as it's called, should be near the top of the list.

Foremost, CHIP is for kids.

Because of the program, more than 35,000 Utah children have health insurance. They receive the medical care they need. Unfortunately, another 24,000 could use it. They're uninsured. 90 percent of them have at least one parent who works but without the benefit of health insurance.

In his State of the State address, Governor Huntsman wisely recommended funding CHIP at $4.2 million dollars. Federal matching funds would quadruple that amount and allow Utah to insure another 14,000 children.

It's a good deal.

Unfortunately, a legislative appropriations sub-committee has cut the Governor's recommendation in half. CHIP is not as high on the committee's list of funding priorities as we think it should be.

KSL urges the Governor to get involved. If he's as serious about CHIP as he sounded during his State of the State address, he ought to use his clout to make sure the program gets the funding he recommended.

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