We strongly urge Congress to move legislation forward that includes least at $150 billion in direct aid to states for fiscal relief and to enact an additional, emergency increase of 12 percent to Federal Medicaid matching funds in order to provide essential support to states as they deploy their resources to address critical health needs during COVID-19.
As you work quickly with your Congressional colleagues to pass new legislation to address the devastating public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, the Children’s Defense Fund urges you to include in the next package a number of critical provisions to protect our nation’s children and families.
CDF was one of over 600 organizations calling for the House to address two major provisions of the proposed COVID-19 relief bill that would exclude millions of immigrant families, including U.S. citizen children. We cannot protect the nation from the Coronavirus and its economic impact if we deny health care and financial relief to a large segment of our communities.
The Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) program is a vital investment in strengthening the pediatric workforce and access to care for children, but sustaining pediatric training programs requires bolstering our national commitment. Because of this, we joined other leading children's health organizations in calling for $465 million in FY2021 funding for the program.
Leading Children’s Health Groups Call for Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant Funding
The Title V MCH Block Grant is a cost-effective, accountable, and flexible funding source used to address the most critical, pressing, and unique needs of maternal and child health populations. CDF joined 80 organizations to urge Congress to properly fund these services in the FY2021 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education & Related Agencies Appropriations bill.
Vulnerable populations need coverage that ensures them access to affordable and comprehensive quality care. When Medicaid beneficiaries cannot find a clinician who accepts new Medicaid patients, they face the same access problems as those who have no insurance. Appropriate and adequate payment is essential to ensure the viability of the primary care workforce to provide such care. As such, we fully support the Kids’ Access to Primary Care Act of 2020.
We joined other national child health groups to submit comments in response to the proposed 2021 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters. Overall, approximately one-half of all children are covered by commercial plans with more than one million children enrolled in Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) to date. Commercial coverage, whether through an employer plan or a QHP, must ensure that covered children have access to timely, affordable, high-quality and age-appropriate care that meets their unique developmental needs and enables them to meet their full potential as adults. Access to health care for children and their families is vital to long-term health, well-being and productivity.
We joined other national child health groups to urge CMS to withdraw the proposed Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Regulation (MFAR). If finalized, the MFAR would trigger insecurity and instability for state Medicaid programs and state budgets by injecting uncertainty into how states can finance the state share of their Medicaid expenditures, and how they pay providers.
The guidance issued by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) 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. 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.
A society must be judged by how it treats its most vulnerable—and most valuable—members: its children. The State of America’s Children 2020 makes it abundantly clear that by this measure, America is falling shamefully short.