West Virginia senators urge extending child health program

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia’s U.S. senators are pushing to reauthorize funding for the 20-year-old Children’s Health Insurance Plan, which expired in October.

According to health officials, the program covers 21,321 children statewide and about 9 million nationally.

It provides low-cost health coverage for children under 19 in working families that earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid.

The West Virginia CHIP Board last month voted to close enrollment Feb. 28 if Congress doesn’t act before then.

Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, now calling for prompt action, says the Senate Finance Committee in October advanced a five-year extension.

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin is asking West Virginians to send him stories about what it’s done for them that he can read on the Senate floor.

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