Gripping lumps of coal, Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday demanded Republicans act before the holidays to reauthorize coverage for millions of children in low-income families whose health insurance is at risk of running out.
Legislators missed the Sept. 30 deadline to renew the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, a federal program that provides inexpensive health insurance to 9 million children and pregnant women who don't qualify for Medicaid yet can't afford private insurance.
"We must do it very soon," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Wednesday. "All of these children are our children. They're America's children."
Numerous states have already sent out notices to CHIP recipients warning them that funds will run out as early as next month, and that they will have to shutter the program if Congress doesn't act.