June 28, 2012
Washington — Advocates for children today hailed as a major victory for America’s children the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling upholding in its entirety the Affordable Care Act (ACA) health reform law. First Focus released an analysis of the ACA’s critical provisions for children and celebrated the Court’s decision, which clears the way for state legislatures and governors to accelerate their implementation.
“Today’s ruling is a significant win for kids. State and federal officials can now get on with the urgent business of effectively and assertively implementing the Affordable Care Act so that more kids can have access to the health care they need,” said First Focus President Bruce Lesley.
Most notably for children, the ruling in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius and Florida v. United States Department of Health and Human Services, maintains the successful Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), keeps Medicaid and CHIP coverage strong for children who are currently enrolled, and affirms a long list of consumer protections which ensure that children with long-term or serious illnesses are able to get the care they need.
While the Court upheld the law in its entirety, it ruled that the Medicaid coverage expansion would not be required for states. This could complicate the ACA’s goal to improve coverage for low-income adults, including parents. However, for children Medicaid’s strong history of providing comprehensive, affordable coverage for children remains entirely intact.
“We urge policymakers to act quickly and make the right implementation choices so the Affordable Care Act can continue making progress covering uninsured kids, protecting millions of kids and parents from abusive insurance practices, and delivering quality care for kids from head to toe,” said Lesley.