"As the U.S. House of Representatives prepares to vote on an amended version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the American Academy of Pediatrics reiterates our opposition to the bill and urges federal legislators to start over on a new way forward for children's health.
"Pediatricians have been voicing our opposition to the AHCA since it was initially introduced, and the current version makes an already bad bill even worse for children and families. This bill would dismantle the Medicaid program by capping its funding and eliminating the Medicaid expansion, and a new amendment adds on even more harmful policies, such as allowing insurance companies to refuse to cover those with pre-existing conditions. In short, the bill hinders states' and families' ability to provide and access care. These are not improvements to our health care system; they are setbacks that would have real consequences for children.
"The rate of children's health coverage in our country is at a historic high of 95 percent, and any new health care policies must build on this progress, not tear it down. Thirty-seven million children receive Medicaid coverage, including children with special health care needs and those from low-income families. This bill is not the answer for these children.
"The American Academy of Pediatrics urges the House of Representatives to abandon the AHCA and looks forward to working with members of Congress from both chambers to craft strong policies that prioritize children and families."
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 66,000 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. For more information, visit www.aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.