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AAP Statement on Senate Decision Not to Vote on Graham-Cassidy Bill

9/26/2017 by: Karen Remley, MD, MBA, MPH, FAAP, CEO/Executive Vice President, American Academy of Pediatrics

“While the American Academy of Pediatrics is grateful that Medicaid remains intact and that children’s health care coverage remains protected as a result of the U.S. Senate’s decision not to vote on the Graham-Cassidy health care legislation, we will not rest until we ensure that these gains are not a temporary outcome but a permanent guarantee for children.

“Right now, Congress has the opportunity to immediately pass a bipartisan bill to extend  funding for five years for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which is currently set to expire in just four days. CHIP provides health care coverage for nearly 9 million children and is designed specifically around their needs. As Graham-Cassidy consumed time and attention in the Senate, needed attention to CHIP was lost, even though a bipartisan bill has already been introduced in the Senate and the program enjoys widespread support among both chambers and both political parties.

“Whether through looming Medicaid threats like those included in Graham-Cassidy or a lack of timely extension of funding for CHIP, children and families’ lives are hanging in the balance of Congress’ failure to act in their best interest. As pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists, we cannot tolerate our patients facing an uncertain future.

“The AAP urges Congress to act, by making two commitments for children: protecting Medicaid and extending CHIP funding before time runs out. Both of these programs are vital to children, and vital to our nation’s future.”

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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.