Washington, DC—In response to the decision issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) individual mandate and instruct the lower court to determine whether any provisions of the law can remain intact, the American Academy of Pediatrics, Children's Defense Fund, Family Voices, First Focus on Children, Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, March of Dimes and the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners issue the following statement:
"Our organizations represent children, pregnant women, families, children's health care providers and advocates across the country. We are alarmed and disappointed by the ruling out of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the ACA's individual mandate that places the entire ACA at risk. The decision leaves millions of children and families who depend on the ACA's vital services and protections facing an uncertain future as the lower court will now determine how much of the law will still stand.
"This uncertainty comes at a time when the number of children without health insurance has increased to more than 4 million nationwide. What these families need is stability and consistent access to health insurance for their children, and this ruling does the opposite.
"The ACA, including its Medicaid and CHIP provisions, has made tremendous improvements to children's health care in the nine and a half years it has been in place. Young adults can remain on their parents' insurance plans until they turn 26. Insurance companies can no longer refuse to cover those with pre-existing conditions or charge them more for coverage. Annual and lifetime limits on coverage no longer exist. And the list goes on.
"While these protections and improvements remain in place for now, we are concerned about what the future holds for the children and families who depend on these and other provisions of the ACA. We are hopeful that a decision will be rendered swiftly and that the law will be upheld so that all children and families can get the care they need."
About the American Academy of Pediatrics
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 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 aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.
About the Children's Defense Fund
The Children's Defense Fund (CDF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit child advocacy organization that has worked relentlessly for more than 40 years to ensure a level playing field for all children. We provide a strong, effective and independent voice for all the children of America who cannot vote, lobby or speak for themselves. We pay particular attention to the needs of poor children, children of color and those with disabilities. CDF educates the nation about the needs of children and encourages preventive investments before they get sick, drop out of school, get into trouble or suffer family breakdown.
About Family Voices
Family Voices is a national, nonprofit, family-led organization promoting quality health care for all children and youth, particularly those with special health care needs. Working with family leaders and professional partners at the local, state, regional, and national levels since 1992, Family Voices has brought a respected family perspective to improving health care programs and policies and ensuring that health care systems include, listen to, and honor the voices of families. For more information, visit familyvoices.org and follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
About First Focus on Children
First Focus on Children is a bipartisan advocacy organization dedicated to making children and families the priority in federal policy and budget decisions. First Focus on Children leads a comprehensive advocacy strategy, with its hands-on experience with federal policymaking and a commitment to seeking policy solutions.
About the Georgetown University Center for Children & Families
The Georgetown University Center for Children & Families (CCF), part of the Health Policy Institute at the McCourt School of Public Policy, is an independent, nonpartisan policy and research center with a mission to expand and improve high-quality, affordable health coverage.
About March of Dimes
March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we empower every mom and every family.
Visit marchofdimes.org or nacersano.org for more information. Visit shareyourstory.org for comfort and support. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter.
About the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) is the nation's only professional association for pediatric nurse practitioners (PNPs) and their fellow pediatric-focused advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who are dedicated to improving the quality of health care for infants, children, adolescents and young adults. Representing more than 9,000 healthcare practitioners with 19 special interest groups and 50 chapters, NAPNAP has been advocating for children's health since 1973 and was the first NP society in the U.S. Our mission is to empower pediatric-focused PNPs and their interprofessional partners to enhance child and family health through leadership, advocacy, professional practice, education and research.