Statement from Dr. Irwin Redlener, President of Children's Health Fund, and professor of public health, Columbia University, regarding the Supreme Court Ruling on the Affordable Care Act
NEW YORK, June 28, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the essence of the Affordable Care Act is good news for America's children. With nearly 10 million children lacking health insurance and at least 15 million with insurance who experience other barriers to getting care, the ACA represents extraordinary progress toward the goal of making sure that no child is denied timely access to quality medical care.
Among the many provisions of ACA that will directly benefit children, the following are the most important:
- Bans insurance companies from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions, and from putting lifetime limits on coverage
- Allows children up to age 26 to stay on their parent's insurance plans
- Creates a new marketplace for parents to buy insurance, requires all plans to offer comprehensive pediatric benefits, and offers subsidies to help families who can't afford coverage
- Maintains the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
- Keeps Medicaid coverage strong for children who are currently enrolled
In addition, in affirming the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court has also cleared the path for implementation of a number of important initiatives contained in the legislation that will significantly improve access to health care for America's children, regardless of their health insurance status. These include:
- Expanding the reach and scope of the nation's network of community health centers so that more children can get to a doctor.
- Investing in the pediatric workforce to address the shortage of doctors that make care unavailable.
- Incentivizing primary care physicians to work in areas with a scarcity of health professionals.
Every day we see the consequences for children who don't have access to care. As we move into the next phase of debate and deliberation on how the nation should move forward on health reform, it is critical that federal and state policymakers work collaboratively to strengthen our health care system, remove barriers to care, and continue to make health care affordable and accessible for all children and families.
CHF is the nation's leading pediatric provider of mobile-based health care.
SOURCE Children's Health Fund