Health care fallout: Fate of 8 million low-income children in limbo

MINNEAPOLIS — TC Bell knows what life is like without health insurance after growing up with a mother who cobbled together care from a public health clinic, emergency room visits and off-the-books visits to a doctor they knew.

That memory makes Bell, of Denver, grateful for the coverage his two daughters have now under the Children's Health Insurance Program — and concerned about its uncertain future in Congress.

"There's an incredible security that I have with CHIP," said Bell, 30, who has gone back to community college to reboot his life after working a series of low-paying jobs. "If my daughters get sick or seriously injured, we can take them to their doctor, rather than when I was growing and had to go through the emergency room. We always kept our fingers crossed back then."

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