When President Obama signed the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) bill into law today, he took a significant step toward the necessary reforms that will guarantee all Americans the health care they need and deserve. As the President stated, CHIP represents an important down payment on health care reform, and one that will provide enhanced health security for millions of families.
For the past 10 years, CHIP has ensured health insurance coverage for more than 7 million children and its reauthorization and expansion is expected to provide that security for 4 million more.
It is also significant that the bill allots funding for measuring the quality of care for children under both Medicaid and CHIP. This provides an important opportunity to ensure that we can improve health care for all children. One significant step states can take in this direction is to ensure that all children insured by Medicaid and CHIP have access to medical homes that provide high-quality health care.
Moving forward, improvements and reforms are needed in nearly every area of our health care system and we need to look broadly at issues of health care quality and efficiency. Payment reform, the reorganization of our health care system, and support of infrastructure and information systems are all needed to ensure the U.S. health care system lives up to its full potential.
Today, we have taken an important first step on the path to a truly high performing health system.