Taking care of children is the responsibility of a great nation

Two hundred and fifty thousand children in Illinois receive access to medical care thanks to the Children's Health Insurance Program, commonly known as CHIP. Across the United States, the number of children grows to 8.9 million. For 20 years, CHIP has ensured that we are doing the right thing: taking care of the health and well-being of children. Taking care of children is the responsibility of every great nation. It defines who we are as a country.

In Illinois, thanks to a combination of CHIP (called All Kids in Illinois) and Medicaid, health insurance coverage for Illinois children has risen to an impressive 97 percent. Before CHIP, nearly 15 percent of children were uninsured in Illinois; now that number has fallen to 3 percent. That is remarkable and unprecedented. CHIP builds on the foundation of Medicaid and is designed to help working families with low to moderate incomes afford coverage for their children. These families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to afford insurance without assistance. This program is an investment in these children's future. When children have access to health care, they have fewer sick days, do better in school, and are more likely to graduate and go to college.

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