A forum in Des Moines today is discussing a federal program that helps pay for insurance for uninsured kids.

Cindy Mann of the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families says they’re trying to raise awareness that the program is coming to an end. Mann says the federal funds for "Hawk-I," the State Children’s Health Insurance Program program in Iowa is running out after 10 years, and the money will go away unless Congress acts. Iowa is one of the state’s that’s continued to expand the number of children covered under the program, but Mann says that progress could be lost.

Mann says Iowa is poised to move forward and has taken some significant steps this legislative session and plans to do others — but can’t do anything without the reauthorization. Why should Iowans who have health insurance worry about those who don’t?

According to Mann, kids who are healthy have a better ability to learn and to grow and develop and become productive workers. Mann says it cost less to provide healthcare for kids now than it does later on. Mann says to sustain the current programs, and move forward to cover all the uninsured, it would require an additional 50-billion dollars over five years at the federal level.