The Silent Victims of the GOP Health-Care Proposal

By Adrienne LaFrance

Good news first, okay? Most children in the United States are healthy. And the overwhelming majority of them have health insurance. More than 95 percent of American children are covered.

This is a 21st-century success story, one that health-care policy experts attribute to the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Since 2008, the number of uninsured kids in the country has been cut in half. Since 2014, when the ACA was implemented, uninsurance among children dropped 20 percent.

The bad news is that the significant gains in coverage for kids in recent years appear poised for a reversal. That’s according to several pediatricians and health policy experts, who described the GOP health-care proposal as particularly damaging to American children.

“This is not politics for us,” Steve Allen, the CEO of Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, wrote in an essay last week. “This is fear that the youngest, most vulnerable population in the United States will be denied health care they need. The voices of more than 30 million children are not being heard.”

The problem, many health-care experts say, is the GOP bill’s $880 billion reduction in federal funding for Medicaid, the government’s health insurance program for the poor.

“There are incredibly high stakes for children in not only the current health-care debate but in debates that lie very shortly ahead—on the future of the Children’s Health Insurance Program and, more importantly, Medicaid,” said Joan Alker, the executive director of the Georgetown Center for Children and Families, a nonpartisan health-care policy and research center. Part of the reason the Affordable Care Act was so important for kids, Alker told me, is because it enabled their parents to get insurance, “and a healthier parent is a better parent.”

The bill that Republicans put forth to replace the ACA would drive …read more

Via:: The Atlantic

      

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