Washington, D.C. — Following release of the American Health Care Act by the Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) is concerned the legislation does not safeguard the health care budget and health care benefits for the over 30 million children served by Medicaid. On behalf of the over 200 children’s hospitals caring for children across the country, CHA asks Congress to continue working on this legislation and improve it for children. Children’s health care budgets should not be cut, and children’s health care benefits should not be removed.
The American Health Care Act will move the Medicaid
program to a per capita cap system and limit future federal funding to the states, risking significant reductions in the Medicaid budgets providing the care for over 30 million children. If enacted in its current form, the bill could negatively impact children’s ability to get the necessary care required for their health. Children in Medicaid, nearly half of all U.S. children, make up more than 40 percent of program enrollees, but they account for less than 20 percent of the costs. It’s critical Medicaid reform protect their benefit levels and funding for their care.
“Better health in childhood ensures kids grow up healthier, have bright futures and contribute to society and our country,” says Madeline Bell, president and chief executive officer of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and chair of the Board of Trustees for CHA. “Congress must do its due diligence to ensure kids don’t suffer budget cuts and possible loss of pediatric-specific benefits through Medicaid. Working with lawmakers, we can improve Medicaid for children and improve children’s health care.”
As this legislation moves forward, CHA calls on policymakers in the House and Senate, along with those in the administration, to protect the over 30 million children in Medicaid. We must not cut care, coverage and benefits for children. Today’s children will grow up to lead our country, and we must invest in them now.