Lawmakers should know bill is bad for kids
Washington, D.C. — On behalf of our nation’s children’s hospitals and the patients and families they serve, Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) continues to oppose the newly modified American Health Care Act (AHCA) and strongly urges the House of Representatives to reject the bill. Recently adopted changes only worsen the AHCA by putting children with preexisting conditions at increased risk of losing health care coverage and failing to correct the Medicaid
cuts that would impact over 30 million kids.
The legislation the House might consider for a vote as early as the weekend would impose over $800 billion in cuts on states by fundamentally changing Medicaid — a program over 40 percent of the children across the country depend on for their health care coverage and access to medical care. Under the bill, Medicaid would no longer be able to flex with the needs of enrollees, instead becoming a severely restricted system of per capita caps or block grants.
The block grant option in particular would be devastating to children as it eliminates Medicaid’s EPSDT (Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment) benefit which ensures children receive immunizations, mental health assessments and vision, eye and hearing exams as well as other medical services they might need. A block grant would also remove cost-sharing protections for children, essentially creating new barriers to care for low-income, working families.
CHA urgently asks members of Congress to vote against the AHCA. Medicaid must be maintained to ensure children receive the coverage and medical care that return lifelong benefits into adulthood. Investing in children’s health advances a better future for our nation.