For over three months, Congress let the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, go unfunded. Then, the bill that allowed the government to reopen after a temporary shutdown also provided money to CHIP. Had that not happened, nearly 400,000 children and pregnant women in Texas could have lost health coverage; 9 million nationwide.
CHIP is a federal program meant to be a safety net for some of the most vulnerable people: those who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid and yet don’t have access to other insurance. Houston’s San José Clinic gets those who don’t qualify. It bills itself as one of the city’s first “safety net clinics,” providing affordable healthcare for the uninsured and uninsurable.