Policy Priorities

Policy Priorities image of kids

Children's Health

be careful what you cut

Cutting children’s health from the budget now will cost all of us later.

Be Careful What You CutLearn more and get involved »

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Alison Buist, Ph.D.

Alison BuistDirector of Health

Learn more about Alison Buist »

There are 7.2 million uninsured children in America—that's one in ten. Every 70 seconds, a child is born uninsured and each day 1,241 children are born without health coverage. CDF works hard to build support for children’s health and has been instrumental in passing legislation to expand access to comprehensive and affordable health coverage for children, including the landmark health reform bill passed in 2010 that now provides access to health coverage for more than 95 percent of all children. Unfortunately, in most states eligibility for coverage does not automatically translate into enrollment in coverage. Nearly 70 percent of uninsured children are currently eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), but are not enrolled due in large part to bureaucratic barriers. Getting eligible children enrolled remains a challenge and CDF will continue to work hard to ensure every child has the healthy start they need to survive and thrive in life.

Happy Birthday CHIP!

On August 5, 1997, President Bill Clinton signed the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) into law. CHIP provides child health coverage to more than 8 million children in working families across America. Since its enactment, CHIP has helped to cut the number of uninsured children in half, to the lowest level on record, while improving health outcomes and access to care. While CHIP is authorized through 2019, funding for CHIP will virtually disappear in 2015. Funding for CHIP must be extended at least four more years so families with children don't lose health care or have to pay more for less coverage. If Congress does not act soon, two million children enrolled in CHIP could lose their health coverage, and millions more would be forced to pay substantially more for less coverage. We are working closely with our national partners to raise awareness about the impending loss of CHIP funding, including running advertisements like this one in Washington, D.C. papers. Get the facts: here are 10 things you need to know about CHIP and our new CHIP factsheet.  

Children’s Health in Your State

Children in the States

How many uninsured children are in your state? How many children are enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP? Learn more about children's health in your state by downloading the State of America's Children 2014 Report.

Renewing our Commitment to Child Health

Our country has made a historic commitment to covering children through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which together have brought the rate of uninsured children to record lows. But our job is not done.  As we prepare for the Affordable Care Act to take full effect in 2014, we’ve joined with our partners in the child health community to renew our commitment to ensuring all children access to health coverage that is affordable, comprehensive and easy to get and to keep.  Good health coverage for children and pregnant women relies on the stability and sustainability of Medicaid and CHIP, which together serve as the bedrock of coverage for low-income children, children with complex or chronic medical conditions, and pregnant women. We must build on what is already working for millions of children and their families by keeping Medicaid and CHIP strong. Learn more about our principles to improve and protect health coverage for children

Immigration Reform and Children’s Health

A new report from the Human Impact Partners (HIP), Family Unity, Family Health highlights the need to protect children’s rights and keep families together during immigration reform to ensure children’s health and America’s future prosperity.  The new report demonstrates how family-focused immigration reform would result in better child health while our current immigration policies push families apart and children into illness and poverty. HIP projects that if current polices remain unchanged, 43,000 U.S. citizen children will experience a decline in health status, 100,000 will develop signs of withdrawal, and over 125, 000 will fall into food insufficient households in the next year. Children of undocumented immigrants—the majority of whom are U.S. citizens—will continue to suffer from mental health disorders due to the trauma and fear of deportation, which can lead to costly health consequences in their adult lives. Given  that a quarter of our nation’s children have immigrant parents, any long term solution to our immigration system must take into account the best interests of these children.  As the debate on immigration reform heats up in Congress, CDF has joined with other child and family advocates in support of some key Principles on Children in Immigration Reform.

KidsWell Campaign

This week CDF is proud to be highlighted by the KidsWell Campaign as a “Featured Partner.”   KidsWell is a national advocacy campaign focused on successful health reform implementation for children and provides up-to-date, easy-to-understand news and analysis about health reform for children.   We are grateful to them for their ongoing support and commitment to increasing access to quality, affordable health coverage for children and families!