Policy Resource

Statement Regarding the Passage of the American Health Care Act by the House of Representatives

May 4, 2017

The following statement regarding the effect of the American Health Care Act on babies and families with young children may be attributed to Matthew Melmed, executive director, ZERO TO THREE:

Petrenko Andriy / Shutterstock

“The American Health Care Act, passed today by the House of Representatives by the narrowest of margins and without even all Republicans, is a nonstarter for America’s hard-working families. It will reduce their access to health care, make it less affordable, and will result in loss of health coverage for hundreds of thousands of babies and toddlers. It removes the guarantee that health plans cover essential health benefits—including maternity, prenatal, pediatric, and mental health care—that are foundational to the healthy development of babies, and the health of their families. Additionally, the bill’s changes to Medicaid will translate into dramatic funding cuts for states, threatening their ability to ensure young children receive crucial services, such as those guaranteed by Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment.

We are steadfast in our opposition to any legislation designed to weaken the Medicaid safety net that has benefited so many vulnerable children and their families. Because of the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the uninsured rate for the millions of young children in the United States has fallen to a record low of 3.2 percent. Today’s vote threatens that progress and puts babies at risk.

ZERO TO THREE will work closely with Senators on both sides of the aisle to ensure this bill does not pass the Senate and become law.”

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