Children's Health Insurance Program on the back burner

ELMIRA, N.Y. (18 News) - 9 million children in the U.S. could lose their health insurance if Congress do not pass funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program, or C.H.I.P. 

C.H.I.P. provides low cost health coverage to children in families that earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid. 

The federally-funded program expired in September and it's still uncertain whether Congress will provide more funds. 

"We see family's of all walks of life here at Southern Tier Pediatrics," Amy White, a pediatrician, said. 

Many of those patients, who use C.H.I.P.

"Health care in kids is huge because it affects someone throughout their life span ," White said. "Someone who does not have their medical problems treated appropriately when they are young, could have lifelong issues from that."

The program has been bi-partisan, having the support of both parties. 

"Whether you are a democrat, republican, or independent, children are children," White said. 

A bill to continue and extend funding for C.H.I.P. has been approved by the House, but the Senate has been unable to pass it. 

Republican Congressman Tom Reed says children should not be caught up in D.C. politics.

"I would hope members in both the House and Senate will put aside political warfare on both sides of the aisle," Reed said. 

Reed says he is confident the House and Senate will reach an agreement to fund the program. 

There are 60 votes needed in the senate to get it passed. 

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