Statement Regarding the Senate Health Care Bill
The following statement regarding the Senate health care bill may be attributed to Matthew Melmed, executive director, ZERO TO THREE:
“The Senate bill would seal the fate for the 13 million young children – including almost 2 million infants – covered by Medicaid: they will be left out in the cold. The Senate’s health care bill delays, but ultimately maintains, the House bill’s proposed drastic cuts to health care and the early support that Medicaid coverage provides. If passed, these actions will harm the growth and healthy brain development for babies nationwide, with long-term repercussions for our country.
More than 37 million children in low-income families are insured by Medicaid. It covers almost half of all births. No federal program is more critical to the healthy development of vulnerable infants and toddlers. Beyond providing critical access to basic preventive health care in the early years, it provides crucial services to detect and treat developmental problems and other issues that, if not caught early, can undermine success in school – and become more costly to treat down the road.
It is unconscionable that Congress would choose to roll-back the progress Medicaid has made for children and families. In the past 50 years, Medicaid, together with the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Affordable Care Act, has steadily and successfully pushed the uninsured rate for millions of young children in the United States to a record low (3.2 percent) – which has led to better health, education, and economic benefits as they grow into adulthood. Rather than making babies a priority, the Senate has shown it is more interested in playing politics and would rob our future to give tax cuts to the wealthiest among us.”
More information on The Impact of Medicaid Restructuring on Young Children is available here.