Dear Editor,

Children's Specialized Hospital commends Congress for their work on the reauthorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) with a special acknowledgment of our champions in New Jersey. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2), is bipartisan legislation to permanently replace the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR); extend CHIP funding for 2 years; and enact many additional provisions, including 2-year extension of the Pediatric Quality Measures Program (PQMP). The bill passed the Senate today and passed the House in late March. The bill now goes to President Obama, who has already expressed his readiness to sign it into law.

Children's Specialized thanks Congress and specifically those in the New Jersey delegation each of whom who serves on a committee who advocated and voted for the reauthorization of the Children's Health Insurance program. Congressman Frank Pallone led the fight in the House to ensure it was included in this complicated budget package and Senator Bob Menendez always is our voice on Senate Finance. Congressman Leonard Lance kept a watchful eye because he cares so deeply about our children. New Jersey’s children are so fortunate to have almost all of the congressional delegation that always extends itself to those most at risk and in need.

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The bill will extend CHIP’s current-law funding levels, core structure and underlying policies that have made CHIP a success for nearly two decades. It will enable continued pediatric quality improvement efforts that are in progress at seven Centers of Excellence in children’s hospitals around the country to continue uninterrupted over the next two years.

This critical resource is a proven source of coverage that meets the unique needs of children with complex medical needs. Looking ahead, children’s hospitals will continue to advocate affordable, comprehensive coverage and meaningful access to care for all children—regardless of payor—to ensure that any coverage transitions are planned, coordinated and executed seamlessly families at the federal, state and plan levels.

On behalf of the 1,000 children we have the privilege to care for who benefit from this critical program; we thank you and will continue our commitment to help these children reach their maximum potential!

Amy B. Mansue

President and CEO

Children’s Specialized Hospital