Last Friday I had the opportunity to attend an event celebrating the Children's Health Insurance Program which featured on of the key architects of that law, to wit WV's senior senator Jay Rockefeller. During the program, several medical and mental health professionals spoke about the benefits of the program, which also covers dental and mental health.
CHIP, enacted in 1997 in Congress and expanded repeatedly in WV since then, now covers children in families earning up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level. It has made a huge impact in health coverage. One number I've heard thrown around is that since the program began, around 40 million children have benefited from the program.
In WV, CHIP outreach, which also enrolls eligible children in Medicaid, has reduced the number of uninsured children to practically zero. As one dentist said at the event, "you just don't see uninsured children anymore."
That is quite a legacy and may be the greatest of Rockefeller's many contributions.
MEANWHILE, ON THE DARK SIDE, WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and his rich friends don't have to worry about affording health care. So instead they worry about how to keep others from getting it. Nice.