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Though consensus opinion appears to indicate national economic recovery, in 2013, the State of the Union for children is perilous. The nation faces serious challenges, as the role and scope of government programs will be shaped by decisions on federal (and by extension state) spending, the implementation of national health reform and the final outcome of negotiations on immigration legislation.
The context of the upcoming, high-stakes budget deliberations is not favorable for children. Record levels of child poverty, increased numbers of children in homes with food insecurity and persistent levels of children without insurance and lacking appropriate access to needed medical care define the landscape, and the stakes for children, as we look to the looming “battle of the budget” likely to take place during Fall 2013.
The most urgent priority on Children's Health Fund's advocacy agenda, the budget deliberations will ultimately set a framework for the future of America’s children. A “grand plan” that embraces austerity that translates into severe cuts in entitlement programs like Medicaid, will have profound, negative implications for children who are already disadvantaged. A plan that does not reverse the ongoing, extremely damaging cuts imposed by the ongoing, automatic “sequestration” process, will incrementally diminish the promise and potential of generations of children.
Children's Health Fund will closely monitor administration and congressional budget proposals and target strategic advocacy activities to ensure our perspective is brought to bear on the budget deliberation process going forward.