Hillary Clinton called on her supporters via Twitter on Thursday to press Congress to renew an expired program that provides health insurance to about 9 million children from lower-income families.
Federal funding ran out for the program in September, and despite bipartisan support in the past, Congress has yet to pass reauthorization for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), making it a major focal point for the ongoing debate to fund the government past Friday.
With that call in mind, Clinton blasted Republican fiscal priorities, and in a series of tweets, she called for her supporters to ask Congress to renew CHIP and protect other government programs from potential cuts.
"There's a lot to be frustrated by right now, to say the least. Here's something that we should be able to fix," Clinton began.
She continued, "The Children's Health Insurance Program, which provides health care for 9 million kids & has been reauthorized on a bipartisan basis every year for almost 2 decades, is hanging in limbo because Congress let it expire over 2 months ago."
Clinton went on to attack Republican fiscal priorities, saying the Senate GOP tax bill is a "giveaway for those who least need it" and warning about eventual cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid; House Speaker Paul Ryan saidWednesday he hopes to work next year on reducing spending on health care entitlements and the welfare system.
"How is it that in the middle of dividing up $1.5 trillion dollars between corporations & the ultra-wealthy, Republicans can't find the time & money to take care of children? These are perverse priorities. Congress needs to pass CHIP now, as they have every year since the 1990s," Clinton said.
She then told her supporters to call their members of Congress to voice their concerns about the issues and said she would continue to tweet about CHIP until the situation is resolved.
CHIP is largely funded by the federal government and managed by states. The program's expiration in September means some states have begun running out of funds, and some parents have received word their benefits could end soon, making reauthorizing the program, which enjoys wide bipartisan support, more pressing.