APA Applauds CHIP Reauthorization, Providing Continued Access to Health Care for Millions of Low-Income Children and Youth

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Psychiatric Association (APA) applauds bipartisan congressional passage of legislation extending the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), protecting children's health coverage and providing access to needed health and mental health services for nearly nine million children and adolescents from low-income families.

As part of a short-term government funding bill, Congress has passed a measure extending funding for CHIP for six years, through Fiscal Year 2023. The bill also extends funding for the Childhood Obesity Demonstration Project and the Pediatric Quality Measures Program and extends specified outreach and enrollment grants.

"Early access to quality evidence-based mental health services and treatment is critical for children and adolescents facing mental health challenges," said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. "Extension of the CHIP program will provide access to mental health care services for low-income children and youth who otherwise might not have access to care.

"We are also glad to see that members of both parties came together and voted for this important measure," Levin said. "We hope this is a sign of more bipartisan cooperation in the future."

CHIP provides health insurance to nearly nine million children and adolescents from low-income families who do not qualify for their state's Medicaid program. The CHIP program means children are more likely to have a reliable source of health and dental care and to have regular preventative care visits. It also provides access to mental health care for the estimated 850,000 CHIP beneficiaries experiencing serious behavioral or emotional disorders.

American Psychiatric Association

The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 37,000 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment.

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