Congress Should Reject Radical Changes to Health Care Law That Will Harm Millions of Kids

Common Sense Media
Tuesday, March 14, 2017

San Francisco, CA -- Changes to the Affordable Care Act making their way through Congress would deny access to health care to millions of children and their parents who are insured today, posing a serious threat to their health and well-being, said Danny Weiss, Common Sense Kids Action vice president of federal policy. As such, these changes should be rejected, he added.

"Thanks to current law, including the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, and the Children's Health Insurance Program, 95 percent of young children in the U.S. today have access to health insurance," said Weiss. "But the changes being pushed in Congress and supported by the Trump Administration would cause 24 million Americans to lose their coverage, including millions of children. In exchange, it would cut taxes for wealthy Americans by $600 billion. Such a plan should offend all Americans and must be rejected."

Weiss acknowledged that the Affordable Care Act needs changes but that Congress could improve the law for families and businesses without forcing millions of kids and their parents to lose access to critical medical care.

"I wish Congress were driven by the goal of affordable health insurance for all kids and their parents rather than being obsessed with erasing an achievement by the last president that is widely recognized as one of the most significant contributions to social advancement in modern American history," Weiss said.

Key facts about children and health insurance:

  • Ninety-five percent of children age 0–5 are insured today.
  • Forty-five million of those children access health care through two programs: about 37 million through Medicaid (a federal-state program) and 8 million through CHIP, the Children's Health Insurance Program.
  • Children are the single-largest group of persons covered under Medicaid.
  • Under the Affordable Care Act, many states expanded Medicaid with help from the federal government, increasing coverage for kids and families, including coverage for mental health care.
  • Changes being considered in Congress would cut funding to Medicaid by $880 billion over the next 10 years.
  • The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office just concluded that Congress' planned changes would cause 24 million Americans to lose health insurance by the year 2026.

Sources: Congressional Budget Office; Georgetown University Center for Children and Families.

About Common Sense Kids Action
The mission of Common Sense Kids Action, the advocacy arm of national nonprofit Common Sense, is to make kids America's top priority. With over 65 million users, more than 300,000 educators, and potential advocates in every home and school across the nation, Common Sense is building a movement dedicated to ensuring that every child can thrive in our rapidly changing world. Common Sense Kids Action fights on behalf of families everywhere -- in our home state of California, in our nation's capital, and in states across the country, where we franchise winning ideas and legislative efforts that help all kids thrive.