Child Health

Leading Children’s Health Groups Oppose New Federal Guidance on Medicaid

For Immediate Release: January 30, 2020
Media Contacts:
American Academy of Pediatrics: Jamie Poslosky (202-724-3301;

Leading Children’s Health Groups Oppose New Federal Guidance on Medicaid
Block grants and per capita caps would cause parents to lose coverage and put children and families’ health at

Washington, DC—The American Academy of Pediatrics, Children’s Defense Fund, Children’s Hospital
Association, Family Voices, First Focus on Children, Georgetown University Center for Children and Families,
March of Dimes and National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners issue the following joint statement
opposing guidance issued today by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposing
drastic changes to Medicaid and their detrimental impact on children and families:

“Our organizations represent children, pregnant women, families, medical professionals and advocates across
the country, and we speak with one voice to oppose the CMS guidance on Medicaid unveiled today. Medicaid is
a children’s program. The full impact of this guidance on children remains unknown, which is of grave concern,
particularly at a time when children’s uninsurance is on the rise.

This guidance fundamentally alters how Medicaid is financed by capping federal funding and offering states the
option to use block grants and per capita caps for low-income adult populations, which includes parents with
young children. When parents lose coverage, their children are more likely to lose coverage as well.

Medicaid provides affordable, comprehensive care for 37 million children nationwide. The program already
offers flexibility to states, allowing each state to meet the needs of its Medicaid population when a natural
disaster, public health crisis like the current coronavirus outbreak, or economic recession increases the number
of people who need Medicaid. Unlike many private health insurance plans, Medicaid also guarantees specific
benefits designed especially for children, known as Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment
(EPSDT), which allows health problems to be diagnosed and treated appropriately and as early as possible.
Today’s guidance allows states to opt out of providing EPSDT to some populations, jeopardizing this critical

In short, our organizations are united in opposition to any threat to Medicaid that would dismantle a pillar
program millions of families rely on. At a time when child uninsurance is already on the rise, this guidance
makes it even harder to guarantee children can get the care they need. We urge CMS to immediately rescind the
guidance and keep Medicaid strong.”

About the American Academy of Pediatrics
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 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. For more information, visit and follow us on
Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.
About the Children’s Defense Fund
The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit child advocacy organization that has worked
relentlessly for more than 40 years to ensure a level playing field for all children. We provide 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 children, children of color 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.
About the Children’s Hospital Association
The Children’s Hospital Association is the national voice of more than 220 children’s hospitals, advancing
child health through innovation in the quality, cost and delivery of care.
About Family Voices
Family Voices is a national, nonprofit, family-led organization promoting quality health care for all children
and youth, particularly those with special health care needs. Working with family leaders and professional
partners at the local, state, regional, and national levels since 1992, Family Voices has brought a respected
family perspective to improving health care programs and policies and ensuring that health care systems
include, listen to, and honor the voices of families. For more information, visit and follow us
on Facebook or Twitter.
About First Focus on Children
First Focus on Children is a bipartisan advocacy organization dedicated to making children and families the
priority in federal policy and budget decisions. First Focus on Children leads a comprehensive advocacy
strategy, with its hands-on experience with federal policymaking and a commitment to seeking policy solutions.
About the Georgetown University Center for Children & Families
The Georgetown University Center for Children & Families (CCF), part of the Health Policy Institute at the
McCourt School of Public Policy, is an independent, nonpartisan policy and research center with a mission to
expand and improve high-quality, affordable health coverage.
About March of Dimes
March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and
provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful
80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we empower every mom and every family.
Visit or for more information. Visit for comfort and
support. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter.
About the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) is the nation’s only professional
association for pediatric nurse practitioners (PNPs) and their fellow pediatric-focused advanced practice
registered nurses (APRNs) who are dedicated to improving the quality of health care for infants, children,
adolescents and young adults. Representing more than 9,000 healthcare practitioners with 19 special interest
groups and 50 chapters, NAPNAP has been advocating for children’s health since 1973 and was the first NP
society in the U.S. Our mission is to empower pediatric-focused PNPs and their interprofessional partners to
enhance child and family health through leadership, advocacy, professional practice, education and research.