Improving Children's Access to Care

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Improving Children's Access to Care


One of the Academy’s federal advocacy priorities is ensuring children have access to the high-quality, affordable health care that meets their unique needs. In order to ensure children and families can receive the care they need, when they need it, the AAP is working at the federal level to support programs and legislation that help attain this goal. The Academy’s Access Principles can be found here.​

Children's Health Care Coverage Fact Sheets​

One of the Academy’s advocacy priorities is ensuring children have access to the high-quality, affordable health care that meets their unique needs. New state fact sheets are now available that use data on the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program to show how these programs work together for children.

​Medicaid Matters for Child​renMedicaid provides health insurance for 33 million children from low-income families and/or with special health care needs. Unlike private insurance, which is designed around the health needs of adults, Medicaid is specifically designed for children.

  • For more information on Medicaid and the AAP's federal advocacy on Medicaid payment equity please visit this webpage

Keep CHIP Strong​

Today, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) finances quality health coverage for more than eight million children in families with incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid but too low to afford private health coverage.

After sustained advocacy efforts by the AAP, the 114th Congress voted with overwhelming bipartisan support to extend funding for CHIP through 2017. 

  • For more information and resources on CHIP and the Academy's federal advocacy efforts please visit this webpage

Improving Children's Access to Subspecialty Care

Currently, there is a shortage as well as a significant disparity in the geographic distribution of pediatric subspecialists trained to treat children in need of specialty care, resulting in many children in underserved areas not receiving timely or appropriate health care. Children and their families often face long waiting lists to see subspecialists or must travel long distances to find needed care, and shortages threaten to become more severe as fewer medical students choose careers in pediatric mental health care and pediatric subspecialties. The Ensuring Children's Access to Subspecialty Care Act (H.R. 1859) would help ameliorate these access issues to pediatric subspecialty care by allowing pediatric subspecialists to participate in the National Health Service Corps loan repayment program.​

  • For more information on subspecialty access issues and the AAP's federal advocacy on H.R. 1859/S. 2782, please visit this webpage (AAP login required).
  • Sign-on letter signed by over 70 national organizations supporting the Ensuring Children's Access to Specialty Care Act.

Federal Implementation of the Affordable Care Act

Signed into law in 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) set out to provide Americans with affordable, high-quality, and comprehensive health insurance. More than five years into its implementation, the legislation has made important changes to the way health care coverage works for children and families, while significantly reducing the number of uninsured Americans and improving access to care. The Academy continues to weigh in with comments to the law's ongoing implementation.

  • For more information on the ACA and the AAP's advocacy at the federal level, visit this webpage
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