Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards issued the following statement on the government shutdown and its impact on the state of Louisiana.  Gov. Edwards called on Congress to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) independently of the Continuing Resolution (CR) or as part of a grand bargain to end the shutdown.

“Today, we find ourselves in the midst of another frustrating partisan battle.  Both parties are spending more time blaming one another than finding common ground.  Caught in the crossfire are the more than 122,000 Louisiana children who depend on CHIP for health care and the thousands of families who look to the National Flood Insurance Program for coverage.  A nation this great should never have its citizens lay awake at night wondering if their children or property are protected.  Both programs have bipartisan support and should be reauthorized immediately - either as standalone measures or as part of a grand bargain to end the shutdown.  But the fact that Congress seemingly cannot manage to pass even the most essential legislation supported by clear majorities of both parties is further evidence of its dysfunction.  The people of Louisiana and the United States deserve better.”

The Louisiana Children’s Health Insurance Program (LaCHIP) at a glance:

  • CHIP is a fundamental component of health care for more than 122,000 Louisiana children
  • After more than 110 days of leaving CHIP unfunded, it’s time for Congress to take CHIP out of government funding negotiations and pass a reauthorization immediately.
  • Since 2003, Louisiana’s rate of uninsured children fell from 11.1 percent to just 3.8 percent in 2015.
  • Children with access to health care early in life are less likely to need care as they reach adulthood, more likely to thrive without the use of social services as adults and are more likely to develop health lifestyle habits. (Georgetown University Health Policy Institute)

On December 12, 2017 Gov. Edwards joined a group of Republican and Democratic governors in writing a letter to Congress addressing CHIP. The bipartisan group of governors wrote: Without [CHIP], access to essential health services like well-child exams, asthma medicine, and hospitalizations will be at risk. As health insurance premiums climb at unsustainable rates, this program gives hard-working families access to otherwise unaffordable coverage.  To view the letter, please click here.

Information regarding the National Flood Insurance Program is available from FEMA by clicking here.