National Health Reform is Good For Massachusetts: Kids
Massachusetts has been a national leader in expanding affordable coverage to children. Chapter 58 expanded MassHealth coverage to kids in families with income up to 3 times the poverty level, and the Children's Medical Security Plan provides basic care to all children ineligible for other coverage at any income level. Our aggressive outreach programs have reduced the uninsurance rate for kids to below 2%, the best in the country, though there is still more work to be done.
Despite all that we have accomplished, national health reform would be good for children in Massachusetts, assuring continued coverage gains and enhancing the health of children in the Commonwealth.
National health reform would be good for Massachusetts because it would
- Extend the CHIP law to 2015, providing more federal funds for Massachusetts to cover kids in the MassHealth program;
- Expand funds to support school-based health clinics and community health centers;
- Prohibit co-payments and other cost sharing for all preventive care, screenings and immunizations recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics;
- Provide grant funds to expand Medicaid and CHIP outreach/enrollment efforts; and
- Distribute funds for childhood disease prevention, like childhood obesity.
In the midst of all the partisan rhetoric coming from both sides, it’s important to remember that there are real and concrete ways that health reform will help real people – especially children.