Thursday, March 25, 2010

Health care for kids

From my friend and ed-warrior James Forman (answer to your question: yes, there are TONS of education reforms opposed to this bill, even though it's undeniably great for low-income kids, because of cost, etc.):
Whitney, I'm on the board of the Children's Defense Fund.  This just came in from Marian Wright Edelman.  It shows why health care reform matters so much for kids--the same ones that are in all of our schools, whose overall well-being is so important to us.  Are any education reformers opposed to this bill?  (other than the Wall St. Journal editorial page).  If so, I just don't get that.
I've just had the deeply moving experience of joining the President, the Cabinet, members of Congress and outside advocacy groups at the signing of the landmark Health Reform Bill which your work and support helped make possible.  It will:
  • Provide access to health coverage for at least 32 million people, including over 95% of children in America;
  • Provide the greatest extension in Medicaid coverage to the poor since Medicaid's enactment.  At least 16 million children, parents and single adults with incomes below 133% FPL ($29,400 for a family of four) will be eligible for Medicaid and 1.6 million currently eligible CHIP children will go on Medicaid and get its guaranteed and comprehensive benefits;
  • Maintain CHIP until 2019 giving us time to determine whether the new state health insurance exchanges are safe places for children and will provide them comparable or better benefit and cost protections to what they currently receive.
  • Fund CHIP through 2015 – doubling the number of eligible CHIP children that can be served from 7 to 14 million;
  • Prevent insurance companies from unjustly denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions or imposing annual or lifetime limits. Elimination of pre-existing conditions for children will take effect immediately;
  • Extend coverage for foster care children and young adults with private insurance to age 26;
  • Provide new investments in prevention without cost sharing.  Insurance companies will be required to cover screenings and benefits recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics; and
  • Make new investments in home visiting programs for at risk families.

The next phase of very hard work now begins – that of enrolling all those who are eligible through every possible means at the federal, state and local levels.  But today we bask in a huge step forward after a very hard fought series of battles. You helped make it possible and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Millions of children will be better off because what you did.

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