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At Supreme Court, AAP Highlights Benefits of Affordable Care Act

3/26/2012 Law is Already Helping Millions of Children

Washington, DC—Against the backdrop of the Supreme Court, today the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which represents 60,000 pediatricians, was proud to stand with other health advocates in supporting and celebrating the success of the Affordable Care Act.

“The Affordable Care Act contains many good things for children and for the country,” said AAP Immediate Past President O. Marion Burton, MD, FAAP, who spoke at a news conference in front of the Supreme Court. “Some of the most vulnerable children have better access to vital health services, age-appropriate benefits, and affordable health insurance coverage. The ACA recognizes the value of preventive care by saving our health care system money over the long run and by helping our children grow into healthy, productive adults.”

The ACA’s child health reforms that have taken effect over the past two years have expanded children’s access to health care focused on achieving their optimal health, growth and development. 

  • Insurance companies can no longer deny a child coverage because of his or her pre-existing condition. 
  • New health insurance plans must now provide Bright Futures services—the definitive standard of pediatric well child and preventive care developed by the AAP—to children as an immediate benefit for no co-pay.
    • Benefits include medically necessary services for children, including physical exams, immunizations, hearing and vision screenings, and developmental and behavioral screenings. 
  • Health insurance plans that cover children, must allow parents to keep children on their policy until age 26.
    • By allowing children to stay on a parent's plan, it is now easier and more affordable for young adults to get coverage.
    • Young adults have the highest uninsurance rate of any age group—30 percent.
    • In the two years since the law went into effect, 2.5 million young people have gained coverage due to this provision.

“This law has already helped maintain or improve access to preventive services for more than half of America’s children,” Dr. Burton said. “As the Supreme Court hears arguments this week for and against the ACA, remember the reality that pediatricians see every day: This law has already begun to help millions of Americans, and in particular, children. Even more reforms are set to take place over the next two years as the law is implemented. We must allow these reforms the chance to take effect and for the public to learn more about the law. We must protect and strengthen the Affordable Care Act for our children and their future.”

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. ​