Congress’ New Health Care Repeal Bill Cuts Medicaid, Harms Kids.
We have made enormous progress in making sure Utah kids have health insurance coverage. Speaker Ryan and the House Republicans have released a plan that will take us backwards. The plan would harm the health of kids and families in Utah and across the United States by drastically cutting Medicaid, the cornerstone to children’s health care, and repealing the ACA.
Over the last several years, thanks to the collective impact of the ACA, CHIP and Medicaid working together, we have seen a significant decline in the number of uninsured children in our state. But of these programs, the biggest insurer for kids is Medicaid. Medicaid insures over 200,000 children; the ACA covers an estimated 38,000 children.
Now Congress is reversing this progress. The proposed repeal act threatens the health and well-being of Utah children and families.
By proposing to place a fixed cap allotment on the Medicaid program, the proposal places arbitrary, harmful limits on the amount of care a vulnerable child can receive. Caps inevitably lead to cuts in care. The children that will bear the burden of these cuts are our kids with special health care needs and chronic conditions: kids with cancer, asthma, or cystic fibrosis.
A Medicaid cap shifts costs to the state and creates more instability and volatility to a program that has worked for over 50 years.
In addition, while the proposal retains the provision in the ACA that allows children to stay on their parents’ health care to age 26, which we support, it phases out parallel language that allows children in foster care to retain their Medicaid coverage to age 26 through presumptive eligibility. Children aging out of foster care are some of our nation’s most at-risk kids. This proposal would leave vulnerable transition-age youth without coverage.
There are other dangerous provisions in the proposed bill, including cuts to Planned Parenthood and a rollback of essential health benefit protections. As more details emerge in the coming days, we will provide updates and analysis about the impact on kids and families.
But the bottom line is clear:
Congress’ repeal plan will hurt our most vulnerable children and families, drive up costs for families, and reverse the gains we have made for children’s health coverage and care.
Our families need a strong health care foundation now. Cuts to the Medicaid program will ripple throughout our health care system and hurt Utah families now and into the future.
For more information about how ACA repeal tax credits will affect families, see the Kaiser Family Foundation analysis.
March 30, 2017 is Love UT Give UT!
It’s a day for Utahns to give to the nonprofits that make Utah special. Every donation to Voices for Utah Children through Love UT Give UT gives Voices a chance to win matching grants and prizes—and gives you a chance to win a car!
And you don't have to wait! Donate now at http://bit.ly/loveUTchildren.
For 30 years now, Voices for Utah Children has called on our state, federal and local leaders to put children’s needs first. But the work is not done. The children of 30 years ago now have children of their own. Too many of these children are growing up in poverty, without access to healthcare or quality educational opportunities.
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We look forward to the future of Voices for Utah Children and we hope you will be a part of our next 30 years.
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