CHF strongly opposes repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and urges Congress to carefully consider the potentially disastrous effect repeal would have on the wellbeing of America’s children, especially its most vulnerable children.
Significant strides over the last five decades have brought the uninsured rate for children to a historic low. It is estimated that over 3 million children have gained direct access to health insurance as a result of the ACA alone. Based on the collective reach and impact of Medicaid, CHIP, and ACA, the child uninsurance rate fell from 13.9 percent in 1997 (9.6 million) to 4.5 percent (3.3 million) in 2015—a drop of more than 67%. Over 30 million children rely on Medicaid for medical insurance.
However, significant challenges remain. According to a recent report by Children’s Health Fund, approximately 28% of children in the U.S. still do not have full access to essential health services. As such, it is critically important that gains made in coverage and access to care be preserved and protected.
CHF urges Dr. Tom Price, the nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, to commit to the progress we have made as a nation in connecting children in need to comprehensive, continuous, and affordable health insurance and healthcare services. As a physician with experience in providing care to the underserved, we are hopeful that Dr. Price’s priorities include ensuring that children retain the same level of comprehensive, affordable and accessible care attained under the current robust network of safety net programs that make up the backbone of care for economically-disadvantaged children and communities.
Every day we see the consequences for children who don’t have access to care. As we move into the next phase of debate and deliberation on how the nation should move forward on health reform, it is critical that federal and state policymakers work collaboratively to strengthen our health care system, remove barriers to care, and continue to make health care affordable and accessible for all children and families.