By Alissa Craft, DO, MBA, FACOP
ACOP PULSE Editor
Alissa Craft, DO, MBA, FACOP
As I write this note, it is October 2, and the funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) expired on September 30. Nine million children in the US receive low cost insurance through the CHIP program. The program cost is estimated at $14 billion per year.
Congress stated that they can continue to address the CHIP program and anticipate that no children will be affected at this time as most states should have adequate funding through December 31. However, multiple states suggest they may run out of money in the next few weeks.
Additionally, as the nation’s budget expired on September 30, Congress also failed to reauthorize funding for the nation’s community health centers. This included funding for 732 residents, 65% of whom are training to become Family Physicians in Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education.
I also sit here with my internet news browser open watching the death toll rise from the mass shooting in Las Vegas. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and the Las Vegas community as they cope with this crisis.
The impact of these situations on patients, families, and communities – as well as those of us who care for them – is immeasurable. As we count down the final 90 days of 2017, and begin to consider any hopes, dreams, or resolutions we might make for 2018, please make advocacy one of your resolutions. The challenges may be daunting, but our children – the future – need us to continue to advocate for their safety, well-being, and opportunity.
One of my favorite quotes is from Margaret Mead and states “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”