Don’t punish children with ACA reform
It is said that a country is measured by how it treats its children and elderly. This statement is now being tested for truth as our government is discussing the fate of the Affordable Care Act. Our elderly in this country are provided health care coverage through the Medicare Program. Our elected officials have stated Medicare will not be changed, and health care coverage for Medicare eligible is assured. This is the right thing to do.
Our children, however, are not receiving this level of reassurance. While Medicare is the lifeline for our elderly’s health care, Medicaid is the lifeline for our children. The Medicaid program is the largest payer of health care for children. Of the 70 million people on Medicaid, 30 million are children. While the Affordable Care Act expanded coverage for an adult population, children were already being covered through Medicaid.
The expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act did not result in increased Medicaid eligibility for children in Ohio, nor did it result in any significant increase in child enrollment in the program. In order to provide assurance to those 30 million children and their families that their benefits will not be taken away, congress should hold those children harmless in any effort to repeal the ACA. To punish our children in this debate is not consistent with our role as parents, adults and leaders seeking the betterment of our country.
The 30 million children on Medicaid were not beneficiaries of Medicaid expansion, and they should not be victims of its repeal, repair or revision.
President and CEO
Akron Children’s Hospital