Take Action: October 4, 2017 Renew funding for health programs that serve children, women, and underserved communities

Jesus had a special love for children—both on the earth and in His revelations to His prophets across time. In Matthew 18, He called children “the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” In Mark, when his disciples tried to keep the little children from him, Jesus rebuked them and said that the children should come to him, “for such is the kingdom of heaven.” In the Book of Mormon, the prophets strongly castigate people who behave unrighteously to women and children.

Last week, Congress failed to renew funding for three crucially important programs upon which our nation’s low-income healthcare rests:

  • the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP),
  • the National Health Service Corps (NHSC—a program that offers loan repayment to primary care providers who will serve in underrepresented communities), and
  • the Teaching Health Centers Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program (which funds PCP residencies in community health centers in underserved areas).

All three of these programs cater primarily to low-income Americans, and all three have strong bipartisan support. But due to the focus Congress gave to its failed Cassidy-Graham healthcare reform plan, the funding for these three programs was allowed to lapse.

The situation could not be more dire for the impoverished children of America (and their parents—but this will disproportionately affect children and pregnant women).

732 vital residencies just lost funding.

9 million children are in danger of losing their health insurance.  Some states will be able to help their CHIP programs limp through for a few more months, but some have no more funding as of Sunday.

Image source

Sisters, we must raise a mighty thunder like we never have before to get the funding for these popular bipartisan programs restored as quickly as possible. There are hearings scheduled in the Senate and in the House this week, but without a hue and cry, it’s possible that these bills will continue to stagnate and the funding gaps for these programs will be even longer.

Please reach out to your Senators and your Representative this week and implore them to support re-funding the NHSC, CHIP, and THCGME as quickly as possible!

POSSIBLE SCRIPT:

This is [NAME] and I’m a constituent in [ZIP]. I am dismayed that funding for several important health care programs was allowed to expire. Women and children will most drastically be affected if funding is not provided for the following programs.

First, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) supports the health and well-being of 9 million children who will soon lose access to healthcare. Some states will run out of funding before December. This program has had bipartisan support for years. It must receive funding again, immediately.

Second, two additional programs help support health care in underserved communities.  The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) offers loan repayment to primary care providers who will serve in underrepresented communities, and the Teaching Health Centers Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program funds primary care residencies in community health centers in underserved areas.  Please support these programs too.

I urge [Sen/Rep____] to support immediate reauthorization of funding for CHIP, NHSC, and THCGME so Americans—especially American children and women—continue to get the care they need.

(More information and alternative call scripts for CHIP can be found at Indivisible and 5calls.)

Christ and child image source