Washington, D.C. – The nation’s children’s hospitals stand in strong opposition to the most recent legislative proposal introduced by Sens. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., Bill Cassidy, R-La., Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Ron Johnson, R-Wis. Their legislation would slash funding for Medicaid
, the nation’s largest health care program for children, by one-third, reducing access and coverage for more than 30 million children in the program. Furthermore, the legislation weakens important consumer safeguards, and as a result, millions of children in working families would no longer be assured that their private insurance covers the most basic of services without annual and lifetime limits and regardless of any underlying medical condition. This bill would have devastating consequences for children and families.
The Medicaid provisions in the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson bill closely mirror those included in the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) that was already rejected by the Senate. Under current law, Medicaid guarantees meaningful coverage for eligible populations, and flexes up and down based on shifts in the economy and labor force. By converting Medicaid into a capped program that limits funding to states, the bill removes the certainty states count on to be able to provide health care coverage to their most vulnerable children, including those impacted by natural disasters and public health emergencies. Previous analysis of the impact of similar proposals considered this year by Congress estimates the cut to Medicaid for children at more than $40 billion by 2026.
On behalf of America’s children’s hospitals, Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) urges Congress to constructively focus on ensuring health care for America’s children by protecting Medicaid funding for children and passing a long-term extension of the bipartisan Children’s Health Insurance Program
(CHIP) before funding runs out at the end of September. Together, CHIP and Medicaid provide health care coverage to nearly 40 million kids nationwide. Thanks to these public programs, children in the United States are experiencing the highest rate of health care coverage on record at 95 percent.