Independent-Record: Tester, Bullock push to continue program that insures thousands of Montana kids

Sen. Jon Tester and Gov. Steve Bullock took to the Capitol rotunda Friday to rally support for a federal program that funds health insurance for 1,083 kids in Helena and some 23,000 statewide.

Tester, a Democrat, said “providing kids with health care is a no-brainer,” which is why he recently introduced bipartisan legislation to keep the Children’s Health Insurance Program funded for the next five years.

Congress has allowed the funding for CHIP to expire. Some 8.9 million children nationwide are currently enrolled in the program.

In Montana, CHIP and children’s Medicaid both partially fund Healthy Montana Kids. Together, they provide health care coverage to one out of every three children in Montana.

“If Congress doesn’t act soon, the program right here in Montana runs out of money in the first quarter of 2018,” Tester said.