At this point, John Bel Edwards can consider himself a charter member of an informal, ever-evolving bipartisan group of governors who have spent much of the year urging Congress to pass responsible legislation on health care.
While the Affordable Care Act repeal drive effort was still active, he joined repeatedly with a coalition spearheaded by Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Democratic Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper to urge GOP lawmakers in Washington to back off their one-sided, Draconian effort to pull all the protections the law offers patients, but to instead work together to fix its problems. They were half successful: Congress didn't repeal, but has done nothing to repair.
Gov. John Bel Edwards joined 11 other governors on Tuesday in urging Congressional leaders t…
After failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act or pass just about any other legislation of …
Now the group is back at it, urging lawmakers to renew, finally, the Children's Health Insurance Program, which expired earlier this fall.
Unlike the ACA, CHIP isn't actually controversial. Yet like the ACA and just about every other matter, it's become a pawn in Washington's never-ending partisan wars. The House did pass a measure to renew the program, but only if it takes money from a preventative health program that's part of the ACA, which Democrats oppose. The Senate hasn't acted, despite statements of support from both of Louisiana's Republican senators and many of their peers.
In the meantime, states are watching their resources dip dangerously low and are starting to send letters to parents warning that their kids may soon no longer be covered.
So the governors wrote yet another letter, this one urging congressional leaders to finally make renewal a priority.
WASHINGTON — Despite widespread bipartisan support for the Children's Health Insurance Progr…
"We believe covering children and pregnant women without disruption is one thing we can all agree on," they wrote. "For 20 years, this program has successfully provided vital health coverage and care to about nine million children. Without it, access to essential health services like well child exams, asthma medicine, and hospitalizations will be at risk. As health insurance premiums climb at unsustainable rates, this program gives hard-working families access to otherwise unaffordable coverage."
Twelve governors signed it, including both Democrats and Republicans from every corner of the country.
And at this point you've got to wonder: How many more will it take?