Roughly two-thirds of voters could potentially support shutting down the government in an effort to obtain funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), according to a new Morning Consult–Politico poll.
Congress let funding for CHIP expire Sept. 30, and the lapse has left state officials scrambling for money to keep running their programs, which provide roughly 9 million children across the country with health insurance.
Lawmakers are wrestling with a short-term spending bill to keep the government’s lights on past Dec. 8.
The poll asked respondents if renewing CHIP was important enough to prompt a government shutdown. About 42 percent of those surveyed responded “yes, definitely,” and another 25 percent responded “yes, maybe.”
Advocates for CHIP are frustrated and worry the delay in long-term funding will hurt the program’s stability.
“It is no longer sufficient to offer vague promises of future action, nor is it desirable or sustainable to continue offering patchwork short-term repairs,” seven leading children’s health groups said in a statement Wednesday.
“Congress must act NOW to enact the strong five-year extension of CHIP as supported by both the House and Senate, free of harmful offsets, to avoid compounding the damage already done in states and to children and families,” the groups — including the American Academy of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital Association and the Children’s Defense Fund — stated.
The poll surveyed 1,997 registered voters from Dec. 1 to 3. The margin of error is 2 percentage points.