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“The bill proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives to address the debt limit includes numerous polices that are harmful to the health of children and families. At a time when families need to be supported, this proposal does the opposite – jeopardizing key programs and policies that young people and their families rely on.
“Pediatricians know first-hand the importance of programs like Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to the health of children and families across the country. It is critical that they can access these vital health care coverage and nutrition programs without added, unnecessary administrative barriers or paperwork. Policies like work requirements make it harder for families to access the health care services and nutrition assistance they need to be healthy.
“The legislation also proposes dangerous cuts to federal programs that support the health and well-being of children and families. These include programs that aim to improve mental health services for children, fund special education, improve immunization rates, advance medical research, provide services for foster children, reduce child abuse, address the child health impact of climate change, and more. These funding cuts would have a devastating impact on real families, resulting in fewer children getting the health care, support and services that are vital to their lifelong health and development.
“Children deserve policies that are most supportive of their overall health. The Academy urges lawmakers to prioritize children’s health in their policymaking and spending decisions and reject any harmful proposals that put it at risk.”
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 www.aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds