By Suzanne Monaghan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pennsylvania Democratic Senator Bob Casey is urging Congress to refund the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Connie Cavara relies on CHIP for her children.

“As a nurse, I spend every day taking care of other people’s family members,” she said. “Without CHIP, I would not be able to take care of my own.”

Cavara’s kids are among the nine million in the U.S. served by CHIP. She joined a group of Senators, including Bob Casey Wednesday in a push to renew the program.

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“These children deserve to have the peace of mind and their families deserve to have the peace of mind to know that they’re going to have health insurance coverage.”

Casey says coverage needs to be restored before the end of year.

“This is really a basic test of the Republican party,” he said. “They’re either going to be fair to children across the country or they’re going to be unfair. I hope they choose the right path.”

Federal funding for the program ran out on September 30.