America's Kids Need the ACA!
A lot of hyperbole comes out of Washington DC. However, words cannot overstate how decisions made as a result of this week will have a profound impact on how we care for the health of today’s and tomorrow’s children. At the Supreme Court, justices are hearing arguments about the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act and could strike down parts, if not all, of the law.
The Affordable Care Act has already helped millions of children obtain quality, affordable health coverage. Specifically it:
- Prohibits insurers from denying insurance to children with serious illnesses, including pre-existing conditions such as asthma and diabetes.
- Provides free preventative services, including immunizations.
- Prevents insurance companies from imposing lifetime dollar limits. In the past, people with cancer or other serious illnesses in their childhood could run out of coverage later in life.
- Allows young adults to be covered through their parents’ insurance until the age of 26. Three million young adults are now insured who otherwise would not be.
Opponents of the law have no specific answers on how children will be protected if we repeal the law and go back to placing children at the mercy of insurance corporations.
Across the street, the House of Representatives will be voting on a 2013 budget resolution that would go far beyond what the Supreme Court is even considering. The proposal, written by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, would start by repealing the Affordable Care Act and all the provisions detailed above. It would then put the 28 million children receiving coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) at risk by cutting more than $800 billion over ten years from the current level of funding for the Medicaid program, resulting in massive shortfalls in every state. States will also lose $582 billion in matching funds for an overall reduction of nearly $1.4 trillion to Medicaid. States would be forced to cut Medicaid services radically, as they could almost certainly not make up that lost funding, thus jeopardizing coverage for millions of children.
The House Budget will also cut the Children’s Health Insurance Program by nearly $29 billion over the next two years. The Medicaid cuts and the repeal of the expansion of coverage to uninsured children through the Medicaid program will certainly swell the ranks of the uninsured beyond the 7 million children currently without coverage. That is not the direction we want to go in nor is it the smart way to prepare the next generation to succeed.
You Can Help Stop This. Make Your Voice Heard.
Please contact your Representative and tell him or her to Stand Up for Children’s Health and VOTE NO on the House Budget Resolution. Throughout the rest of the week, we will let you know other ways the House Republican Budget Resolution will dramatically cut programs that provide for the health, education, and safety of children.