Almost 400,000 Texans At Risk After Funding for CHIP Runs Out

LUBBOCK TX - Federal funding for the Child Health Insurance Program, known as CHIP, ran out September 30th. South Plains Food Bank CEO David Weaver estimated the end of the program could affect up to 400,000 children living in Texas.

"To make sure kids are fed, or kids have access to the health care they need, parents will do without things," Weaver said, "They'll do without food to make sure their children have [what they need]."

Dr. Guadalupe Zamora said he's worried thousands of children will no longer have access to the regular check-ups and vaccines that are absolutely necessary to prevent life-threatening disease.

"Immunizations really, really help us keep those children out of hospitals," Dr. Zamora said, "They don't get pneumonia. They don't get meningitis. They don't get the hepatitis that they used to."

With federal money gone, state funding is expected to run out in February, just as cold and flu season rolls around.

"It's a catastrophe, because we need those children to be healthy," Dr. Zamora said.


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