Goals and Policy Recommendations for Healthy Children


Advocacy ​Goals and Policy Recommendations for Healthy Children

Goals for ​​H​ealthy Children:

The 45th president must ensure that all children have access to the highest-quality health care so they can thrive throughout their lifespan. The next administration must ensure that all children, regardless of their immigration status:

  • have affordable and high-quality health care coverage,
  • have insurance with comprehensive, pediatric-appropriate benefits,
  • have access to needed primary and subspecialty pediatric care and mental health services, and
  • receive comprehensive, family-centered care in a medical home.

Policy recommendations to promote healthy children:

  • Renew and strengthen Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
  • Ensure that children covered under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) receive comparable services at the same reasonable costs as children covered under CHIP and Medicaid.
  • Improve access to Medicaid services by simplifying eligibility processes, reducing bureaucratic barriers to care, and streamlining enrollment, including through increasing linkages to other programs such as nutrition programs.
  • Safeguard the access of military families to appropriate supports by strengthening services provided by the TRICARE network, particularly for mental health services.
  • Ensure that all public and private health plans for children offer a comprehensive, well-defined, and pediatric-specific essential health benefits package that includes a broad range of preventive and medical care, subspecialty care, surgical and critical care, mental and behavioral health care, oral health care, and habilitative and rehabilitative care. Medicaid's Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) standard provides a useful model for these services.
  • Promote maternal and reproductive health, including comprehensive family planning and prenatal services, such as those supported by the Title V Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Block Grant Program, the Community and Migrant Health Center Program, the Title X Family Planning Program, and Medicaid.
  • Improve financing for high-quality, team-based medical and mental health care delivered in a medical home that incorporates Bright Futures guidelines and EPSDT services.
  • Offer loan repayment programs to pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists who work in underserved areas or care for a significant share of low-income patients.
  • Address the inequity between Medicaid and Medicare payment so children have better access to providers and services.
  • Ensure that Medicaid and other key entitlement programs for children are not subject to payment caps, block grants, or other structural harms.​