Children’s Health Fund Celebrates Major Wins for Children
Children’s Health Fund is thrilled to see that the American Rescue Plan made its way successfully through Congress. This $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package contains major action to reduce child poverty and help families suffering disproportionately from repercussions of the pandemic. This historic legislation will impact millions of lives, with wide, sweeping implications for children.
“When it comes to the pain and suffering resulting from this pandemic, there are no silver bullets. However, the American Rescue Plan is a comprehensive step in the right direction: from Medicaid and CHIP, to broadband internet access, to a full frontal attack on childhood poverty. The American Rescue Plan is a major effort to tackle a nuanced and layered public health emergency, the consequences of which will be with us for years to come,” said John Decarvalho, director of Policy and Advocacy.
We are relieved to see such comprehensive legislation targeting under-resourced communities. The American Rescue Plan contains measures that will directly support families in need and reduce child poverty through:
- Increased Medicaid and FMAP support, specifically an increase in FMAP for states that elect to expand Medicaid eligibility
- A major COVID-19 vaccination and testing initiative that prioritizes equity and increasing vaccine confidence
- Child Tax Credit expansion and increase to $3,000 per child, with an additional $600 for children under six, that is fully refundable through 2021
- Increased subsidies for child care
- $1,400 stimulus checks, with immigrant families included
- Extension of emergency unemployment benefits
- Temporary extension of food stamps and rental assistance
- Funding for telehealth infrastructure targeting community health efforts
- Funding to get more children connected to the internet via the FCC’s E-Rate program to help close the “Homework Gap”
Our National Network and Healthy and Ready to Learn partners have worked tirelessly to provide essential medical care for children in under-resourced communities throughout the pandemic. Children’s Health Fund is pleased to see funding for an equitable comprehensive vaccine and testing program providing direct support to community health centers across the country.