(BOSTON) — Statement of Robert Restuccia, executive director of Community Catalyst, regarding the continuing resolution passed today in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate
“Congress has left town without finishing critical business that affects the lives of children and families across America. The short-term continuing resolution Congress passed today failed to fully fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or address DACA. The measure also raids the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention Fund to fund to Community Health Centers, which is essentially robbing Peter to pay Paul and is the wrong way to go about supporting these vital health care providers. It’s particularly shameful that the Republican leadership found the time to pass a tax bill that benefits the wealthiest among us, balloons the deficit and raises health insurance premiums, yet they failed to protect children and families’ health. In their rush to leave town Congress also neglected to provide adequate emergency Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico,  which has been devastated by Hurricane Maria.
“CHIP and Community Health Centers are key pieces of our health system for children and families. Alongside Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, CHIP plays a crucial role in providing approximately 9 million children and pregnant women with affordable, high-quality health coverage. Children should be our top priority, and community health centers are critical to families’ ability to access quality care. DACA has also been a lifeline for families, allowing nearly 800,000 young immigrants to contribute to our culture and economy. Yet the Trump Administration’s reckless decision to terminate DACA has put those children at risk, subjecting them to trauma that can have lifelong health consequences. And while Congress has managed to provide tax breaks for the wealthiest, the health care needs of American citizens in Puerto Rico are being neglected.”
“We demand that both chambers of Congress abandon their plans for further attacks on Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act and work together to forge a bipartisan agreement on a long-term funding plan for CHIP, Community Health Centers, emergency medical aid for Puerto Rico and passage of the DREAM Act. These items must be a priority when they return to Washington in January.”

About Community Catalyst
Community Catalyst is a national, non-profit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1998 with the belief that affordable quality health care should be accessible to everyone. We work in partnership with national, state and local organizations, policymakers, and philanthropic foundations to ensure consumer interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and the health system are made: in communities, courtrooms, statehouses and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit www.communitycatalyst.org. Follow us on Twitter @healthpolicyhub.