The Graham-Cassidy bill – introduced in Congress earlier this month – will likely be put to a vote in the Senate before the end of this week. We don’t yet know the full impact of this legislation because the Congressional Budget Office hasn’t done a complete analysis of it. However, we know in its current form that it limits healthcare funding for children. It will force states like Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana to make tough spending choices that could threaten children’s medical coverage and benefits under the program.
We are grateful there are elements in the bill that protect some children, including some disabled children, but the definition of disability is narrow and leaves some children behind. We’re very concerned that the proposed Graham-Cassidy bill will do harm to many of the children who depend on Medicaid.
More than 45 percent of the children we serve at Cincinnati Children’s rely on Medicaid for their health coverage. That’s 133,000 children. Nationally, 30 million children are on Medicaid. They represent almost 50 percent of all enrollees, yet account for only 20 percent of the program’s costs.
In Ohio, we are fortunate to have two U.S. Senators – Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown – who have worked hard to protect children. They have supported Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and pediatric research. Yet, it is important that we ask our Senators to stand up for kids and tell them how Medicaid matters to children and families in our region.
Here’s how you can help:
- Follow the link below and send electronic letters to your U.S. Senators via the Speak Now for Kids Enter your information and personalize the letter. Share why protecting Medicaid coverage, ensuring access to care and funding for children’s health is important to you. http://www.congressweb.com/speaknowforkids/38/
- Use your personal social media accounts to share why Medicaid matters to you, Cincinnati Children’s and our patients. Include the hashtag #KeepKidsCovered in all social media posts/tweets.
Thank you for taking the time to be an important voice for child health. Together, we will continue to make a difference for all children.