Congress is taking its first step toward extending the popular Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) past next year, when more than 8 million children will lose their health coverage unless lawmakers take action. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) introduced legislation Wednesday that would fund CHIP through 2019. While the program is currently authorized through that year, its budget is set to expire next September. Rockefeller, who helped craft the program in 1997, praised CHIP for helping reduce the number of uninsured children. "CHIP has been hugely successful in West Virginia and across the country because it has given children and pregnant women access to care and services that have greatly improved health outcomes," he said in a statement.