Health insurance coverage is a fundamental first step in helping children receive the services and care they need to achieve and maintain their best physical, oral, and mental health. Over the past 20 years, the core components of children’s health insurance coverage—the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicaid, and NC Health Choice (North Carolina’s version of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program)—have reduced the percentage of uninsured children from 16 percent to 4 percent.
However, proposed changes to the ACA, Medicaid, and SCHIP could reverse this success and result in millions of children losing the health coverage they need to succeed in school and life.
Help us protect children’s health by joining the NC Coalition to Protect Child and Family Health today!
Protecting the Affordable Care Act
The ACA works for children by strengthening access to preventive services, protecting children with preexisting conditions, and improving health insurance coverage rates.Congress is currently planning to repeal central pieces of the Affordable Care Act in early 2017, including the marketplace subsidies, individual mandate, and expansion of Medicaid, but delay the replacement by sometime between six months and one year. Congress should not repeal the ACA, but if they do, they must immediately replace it with policies that protect recent gains in coverage, access to services, and benefits.
Protecting Medicaid from Cuts in Funding, Eligibility, and Services
Medicaid is the backbone health insurance program for North Carolina’s children, providing guaranteed insurance coverage to children in foster care, children with disabilities, and children from low-income families. Current proposals to cap Medicaid would result in massive funding cuts over time and weakened standards for the quality of care. This would lead to a significant reduction in the number of children with health insurance and in the availability of services children need to stay healthy.
Ensure Reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)
SCHIP stands on the shoulders of Medicaid, providing insurance for 78,000 NC children. Federal funding for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program expires after 2017. Congress and President Trump must take action next year to preserve the program. If the program is defunded or funding is reduced, the onus will be on North Carolina state officials and state dollars to preserve health insurance for those 78,000 children.
NC Child Resources
Understanding Pending Proposals to Repeal the Affordable Care Act–Georgetown Center for Children and Families (Note–this links to a collection of articles on the topic.)
Protect the ACA for Children and Families–Children’s Defense Fund
What Does a Medicaid Block Grant or Per Capita Cap Mean for Children and Families?–Children’s Defense Fund
Medicaid in North Carolina–Kaiser Family Foundation
Block Grants and Per Capita Caps Would Dismantle Medicaid as We Know It–Community Catalyst
5 Key Questions: Medicaid Block Grants and Per Capita Caps–Kaiser Family Foundation
Health Reform and Medicaid–NHELP (Note–this links to a collection of articles on the topic.)