CMA and a coalition of organizations dedicated to the health of California’s children have joined together in opposition of federal legislation that would repeal provisions of the federal health reform law, allowing states to drop children and other low-income populations from their Medicaid and children’s health insurance programs (Medi-Cal and Healthy Families in California).
This legislation, known as the “State Flexibility Act,” would jeopardize the health coverage of millions of children nationwide by allowing states to roll back eligibility levels and erect new barriers to prevent eligible children from enrolling in coverage.
Under this proposal, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funding is particularly vulnerable. If this bill becomes law, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that half of all states will eliminate their CHIP programs by 2016, and even more states will scale back coverage for kids.
The coalition told the congressional delegation that cutting children’s coverage is not only bad for children’s health; it is bad for our economy. Children without health care and immunizations are more likely to use emergency rooms and be hospitalized for preventable illnesses, both of which come at a high cost to taxpayers.
“We need our nation’s children to drive tomorrow’s economy, and the negative effects of this proposal would be lifelong for those impacted,” the coalition said. “The health of our children should not be a partisan issue. Congress can and must move forward, not backwards, in ensuring that every child has comprehensive, affordable health coverage.”