Child advocates celebrate health reform victory
Child groups praise Supreme Court ruling upholding health reform law
WASHINGTON – Voices for America’s Children, the nation’s largest network of multi-issue child advocacy organizations, today cheered the U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the health reform law, pointing to the many benefits and protections it offers for children.
“Children have been some of the biggest winners in the health reform law, and now millions of American families can breathe easier knowing care will be accessible and affordable,” said Bill Bentley, president and CEO of Voices for America’s Children. “With the fate of health reform now clear, every state should proceed with implementation of the law, full speed ahead. A number of states have been dragging their feet when it comes to establishing the new insurance markets for health plans, but now they must start laying the groundwork if the law is to benefit everyone by 2014.”
“Although we’re disappointed that state governments may choose not to expand Medicaid to more children, Voices counts this ruling as a huge victory for kids,” Bentley added.
Voices pointed to the end of discriminations against children with pre-existing conditions as one of the key benefits for American families. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, children can no longer be denied coverage based on health conditions which developed prior to their parents seeking enrollment. Up to 17 million children are estimated to have a pre-existing condition, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
“This victory for health reform is a victory for all Utah children and families,” said Karen Crompton, president and CEO of Voices member Voices for Utah Children and chair of the Voices health advisory group. “Many people don’t realize that the health reform law is already protecting children and ensuring that they are not discriminated against by policies like pre-existing conditions and lifetime caps on benefits.”
Children also are protected from lifetime caps on benefits under the health reform law. More than 105 million Americans are benefiting from this provision of the law, including more than 28 million children, according to HHS.
Expanded access is another key win, according to the child advocates. Before the passage of health reform, 45 million Americans were without access to quality care. But health reform’s expansion of Medicaid, extension of Children’s Health Insurance Program funding, subsidies for low-income families, and health insurance markets (called exchanges) will help more families in need get coverage for their children.
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As the nation’s largest network of multi-issue child advocacy organizations, Voices for America’s Children (Voices) has been on the forefront of every major child policy victory for the past quarter-century. With 62 members nationwide, Voices speaks up for kids, and mobilizes and advocates for public policies to improve the lives of all children, especially those most vulnerable, throughout the United States. Visit us at www.voices.org.
Voices is a founding member of the Children’s Leadership Council, a coalition of more than 50 leading national policy and advocacy organizations. www.childrensleadershipcouncil.com.