WASHINGTON – Yesterday evening, Reps. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Jane Harman (D-CA) were joined by 33 of their House colleagues in introducing new legislation to fix a technicality that limits low-income children’s access to free vaccines in California and 27 other states.
"Vaccinations are fundamental to starting children off on a lifetime of good health. Children should not be denied them on a technicality. The bill we are reintroducing would clarify federal law so that all children enrolled in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will receive free immunizations through the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program," Pelosi said.
The VFC supplies federally purchased vaccines to low-income children who are uninsured or enrolled in Medicaid. Due to a technicality in the law, millions of low-income children in California and 27 other States lost the VFC free immunization benefit. These States chose to administer their CHIP through innovative, non-Medicaid programs. Since the Department of Health and Human Services has interpreted these new programs as private health insurance, children enrolled in these CHIP programs have been prohibited from receiving VFC coverage.
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