Do Children's Health Concerns Fall Through The Health Law's Cracks?

MedPage Today takes a long look at how the health law impacts children's health programs.

MedPage Today: CHIP Faces Uncertain Future
The final implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could be bad news for re-authorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), a congressional staffer said. … Authorization for the program, which provides health coverage to families who make too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to afford costly health insurance, expires at the end of September 2013. But it remains to be seen how CHIP will work with the ACA. President Obama's 2010 health law sought to expand Medicaid coverage for those living up to 133 percent of poverty, while providing tax credits for those who don't [qualify] for expanded Medicaid and make up to 400 percent of poverty. ... CHIP won't completely disappear after its current 4-year authorization ends on September 30. Instead, the program will just revert back to previous year's funding levels and lawmakers will have an opportunity to wait for the ACA to fully come online and reassess the program (Pittman, 5/5).

Medpage Today: Policymakers Fail To Address Kids' Health
Public policy and research has largely ignored the health needs of children lately and it's a practice that will end up backfiring years from now, pediatricians said here. Health policy has turned into cost containment policy, which disproportionately favors Medicare and "children's issues get marginalized almost by definition," Paul Wise, MD, MPH, from Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., said at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting. As a result, policymakers "neglect" the medical care of children and focus on their social and welfare issues, Wise said. He said forgetting about those with special health needs today may undermine those cost-containment efforts and advances in pediatric care in the future (Pittman, 5/4).

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