• Press Release
  • July 20, 2017

House Bipartisan ACE Kids Act of 2017 Introduced to Improve Care for Children in Medicaid

Children’s hospitals applaud House initiative to improve Medicaid for 2 million kids

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, lead cosponsors Reps. Joe Barton, R-Texas, and Kathy Castor, D-Fla., introduced the bipartisan Advancing Care for Exceptional (ACE) Kids Act of 2017 (H.R. 3325) in the U.S. House of Representatives. Reps. Barton and Castor were joined by original cosponsors Reps. Gene Green, D-Texas, Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., Dave Reichert, R-Wash., and Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash. The Senate introduced a version of the legislation (S. 428) in February. This bicameral legislative effort follows the ACE Kids Act of 2015, which achieved strong bipartisan support in both the House and Senate. 

The ACE Kids Act of 2017 is based on an innovative approach to improving the Medicaid program for an important subset of Medicaid beneficiaries: roughly 2 million children with complex medical conditions. The legislation aims to better coordinate their care, ensuring optimal outcomes while reducing costs.

Of the more than 30 million children covered by Medicaid nationwide, 2 million have complex medical conditions, multiple co-morbid conditions such as cancer, cystic fibrosis and serious congenital heart defects. These children face documented gaps in care, especially when crossing state lines to access specialized services. 

“The ACE Kids Act represents innovation that not only helps a subset of children in every state, but also reduces costs,” says Madeline Bell, president and chief executive officer of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Children’s Hospital Association. “Children’s hospitals are ready to work with lawmakers on this legislation on behalf of the patients and families they serve.”

Children with complex medical conditions make up just 6 percent of children on Medicaid, but account for 40 percent of all Medicaid spending on children — their unique needs often require ongoing and specialized care. This legislation helps address existing challenges identified by families and physicians, including the coordination of care across multiple providers and services. 

The ACE Kids Act of 2017 would be optional for states and would work within the existing structure of a state’s Medicaid program, including those states with Medicaid managed care. 

You can post about and follow the progress of the bill on Twitter, #ACEKidsAct.

About the Children's Hospital Association

The Children’s Hospital Association is the national voice of more than 220 children’s hospitals, advancing child health through innovation in the quality, cost and delivery of care.