Whatley Health Services talks CHIP spending cuts potential impact

Whatley Health Services talks CHIP spending cuts potential impact
Pediatrics waiting room. (Source: WBRC video)

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - President Trump is looking to reduce spending on the Children's Health Insurance Program.

Currently, there are about 150,000 kids in Alabama enrolled in the state version, All Kids.

Although there's talk about the Trump administration tapping into unused funds to avoid affecting CHIP operations, local health care professionals still worry about the potential impact it could have on kids in the program.

Thirty-five percent of children patients at Whatley Health Services in Tuscaloosa qualify for the Children's Health Insurance Program according to their CEO.

"This is not something that is just theory this is healthcare at it's basic," said Deborah Tucker Whatley Health Services.

President Donald Trump includes a $7 billion cut to the CHIP program in his overall $15 billion dollar cuts request.

"There are other places where budgets can be cut other than programs needed for lower and middle-income people. The Chip Program is helping them to cover the expenses that they can't afford," said Lekeisha Gilbert lives in Tuscaloosa.

"Just leave alone it's working as it is why bother it," said Mable Dixon lives in Tuscaloosa.

White House officials insist the money being cut to the CHIP program was never going to be spent but Whatley Health services CEO Deborah Tucker insists every dollar is needed to provide necessary health care services, enrollment, and eligibility for our children.

"Many of Alabama's children are receiving good health care under this program that otherwise they simply would not," said Tucker.

Please look at the fact these are not folks that are looking at this as an entitlement these are hardworking families that are just trying to take care of their children.

Lawmakers have 45 days to vote on the plan after the White House officially sends the request to Congress.

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