Children’s Health Advocates React to Affordable Care Act Ruling

For Immediate Release
June 28, 2012
For More Information Contact:
Patti Hassler
Vice President of Communications and Outreach
202-662-3554 office
phassler@childrensdefense.org

 

Children’s Health Advocates React to Affordable Care Act Ruling

Washington, DC – Eight of the nation’s leading child health and advocacy organizations reacted to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling today to uphold the Affordable Care Act:

“Today, the Supreme Court upheld a law that invests in children’s health from the ground up,” said American Academy of Pediatrics President Robert W. Block, MD, FAAP. “The Academy endorsed the Affordable Care Act because it addresses the same ‘A-B-C’ goals that are entrenched in our mission and in our 82 years of child health advocacy: providing  all children in this country with Access to health care services, age-appropriate Benefits to meet their unique needs, and high-quality, affordable health care Coverage.”

“Today’s decision is a clear victory for children of all ages, races and incomes in America,” said Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children’s Defense Fund. “I am delighted the Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act, including the Medicaid expansion, but I am deeply concerned by the limitation of the expansion that could exclude millions of poor parents. Together we need to work until all children and parents and everyone in America are guaranteed access to comprehensive, affordable health coverage.”

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling means children – especially chronic and complex patients that children’s hospitals specialize in treating – will continue benefitting from Affordable Care Act provisions including those that prohibit annual and lifetime caps on coverage,” said Mark Wietecha, President and CEO of the Children’s Hospital Association. “Children’s hospitals are innovating care delivery for this special-needs population through such models as medical homes with funding from CMMI and through other collaboratives. This care not only improves pediatric outcomes but takes costs out of the system – a goal shared by Congress and the Obama Administration.”

“Today’s ruling is a significant win for kids. State and federal officials can now get on with the urgent business of effectively and assertively implementing the Affordable Care Act so that more kids can have access to the health care they need. We urge policymakers to act quickly and make the right implementation choices so the Affordable Care Act can continue making progress covering uninsured kids, protecting millions of kids and parents from abusive insurance practices, and delivering quality care for kids from head to toe,” said First Focus President Bruce Lesley.

“While today’s decision is great news for our nation's children and families, we remain concerned that the Court left open the possibility that the lowest income parents and other adults could be left behind. Now the responsibility for ensuring this is indeed a victory for all rests squarely on the shoulders of the states,” said Joan Alker and Jocelyn Guyer, Co-Executive Directors of the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute’s Center for Children and Families. 

“This decision represents a landmark victory for pregnant women, infants and families.  The Affordable Care Act will extend the benefits of health coverage to millions of women, children and families who would otherwise face every illness as a potential catastrophe.  This law will give more pregnant women access to prenatal, maternity and postnatal care; more children the ability to obtain lifesaving vaccines and services to ensure their healthy development; and more families the financial security of knowing that they have adequate insurance.  The Affordable Care Act will require that every health plan offer care for maternity coverage, in contrast to today’s individual market, where only 13 percent of plans cover maternity care,” said Jennifer L. Howse, PhD, President of the March of Dimes.

“We’re very pleased the Supreme Court upheld the entire Affordable Care Act,” said National Family Voices Executive Director Sophie Arao-Nguyen. “The law is a great step forward in protecting and improving the health of all children, including children and youth with special health care needs and disabilities. Today’s ruling means these vulnerable children will continue to enjoy the critical protections afforded by the law, such as bans on pre-existing condition exclusions, lifetime limits, and all annual limits on insurance coverage as of 2014. We’re grateful young adults can still be covered under their parents’ insurance plans up to age 26, and also that as of 2014, former foster children will be covered under Medicaid up to age 26. However, we’re disappointed the Court weakened the expansion of Medicaid to cover additional low-income adults. Family Voices will continue to join with our partners in each state to advocate for state coverage of this population.”

“Children have been some of the biggest winners in the health reform law, and now millions of American families can breathe easier knowing that 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 implantation 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."

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. www.aap.org

The Children’s Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. CDF provides a strong, effective and independent voice for all the children of America who cannot vote, lobby or speak for themselves. We pay particular attention to the needs of poor and minority children and those with disabilities. CDF educates the nation about the needs of children and encourages preventive investments before they get sick, drop out of school, get into trouble or suffer family breakdown. CDF began in 1973 and is a private, nonprofit organization supported by foundation and corporate grants and individual donations. For more information: www.childrensdefense.org.

The Children’s Hospital Association advances child health through innovation in the quality, cost and delivery of care. Representing more than 220 children’s hospitals, the Association is the voice of children’s hospitals nationally, advocating public policy enabling hospitals to better serve children, and is the premier resource for pediatric data and analytics driving improved clinical and operational performance of its member hospitals. Formed in 2011, Children’s Hospital Association brings together the strengths and talents of three organizations: Child Health Corporation of America (CHCA), National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI) and National Association of Children’s Hospitals (N.A.C.H.). For more information: www.childrenshospitals.org