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Opinion: Our children cannot become political pawns in this mess of a healthcare debate

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EDITOR'S NOTE: Boris Epshteyn formerly served as a Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations.

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - Healthcare is a complicated issue.

What should not be complicated, however, is making sure that our children are taken care of.

Yet, Congress allowed for the funding of the Children’s Health Insurance Program - or CHIP - to expire at the end of last month.

CHIP provides health coverage to nearly 9 million children of lower and middle-income families nationwide. Nine million.

So, not only did Congress fail to pass a health care bill, they also put 9 million children in danger of not having the medical coverage they need to grow into healthy adults.

The Children’s Health Insurance Program was passed with bipartisan support in 1997. Since then, it has allowed all states to add significant federal money to their, state–based, children’s health coverage.

Unless Congress acts soon, a number of states will begin running out of this federal funding before the end of this year.

The House and Senate have started working on bills to reauthorize the program. As it seems to be the usual case for Congress, the sticking point is – how do you pay it? Republicans and Democrats have not been able to get on the same page on an answer to that question as to CHIP

Here’s the bottom line: it is easy for our representatives to get caught up in budgets, continuing resolutions and other details of governing. The issue of health care for children has to break through that bubble. Our children should not become political pawns in this mess of a healthcare debate. Congress has to act swiftly to reauthorize CHIP.