Lawmakers' delay on 'CHIP' vote put lives of millions of childre - KMOV.com

Lawmakers' delay on 'CHIP' vote put lives of millions of children in danger

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

One decision in Washington, or the lack thereof, could mean the difference between life and death for our nation's youngest.

Parents like Randall McNail could be greatly impacted. His 3-month-old son, still in the hospital, is premature and going through a lot of ups and downs.

"His head is swelling up. We don't know whether we can get it down, we are talking about a trachea, so we can take him home," said McNail.

But the question is, "Will the 3-month-old get home?"

"We changed our whole life right now. This little guy, here, is staying with his grandma. We are away from home. We stay here," added McNail.

The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), around since 1997, offers inexpensive healthcare to 9 million children in families and pregnant mothers who don't qualify for Medicaid but can't afford healthcare.

Most count on CHIP to ease the worry when it comes to paying bills.

"They are outrageous," added McNail. "We just put them off to the side right now."

St. Louis doctor Ed Weisbart, whose practiced family medicine since the 1980s, thinks it would be a disastrous move for lawmakers to let CHIP die.

"If you can't afford that and wind up on, not using medicine at that price range, you wind up on far less expensive but more toxic drugs," added McNail.

Public health experts citing U.S. Census data applaud CHIP's impact. The data shows the rate of uninsured children in the U.S. over the last 20 years has dropped from 14 to 4.5 million.

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