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Post-Election Look at the Future of Children's Health

Published on
Nov 29, 2016

The presidential election will usher in new leadership for our country in January but is raising speculations now about how the new administration will address important questions and issues related to the health of children and adolescents.

Some of those issues – particularly with respect to the healthcare programs available for children – were at the forefront long before the election even took place. CHOP’s PolicyLab noted in a recent blog post that 2017 was already shaping up to be a challenging year for children and adolescents.

PolicyLab pointed to the political environment of a divided Congress and financial pressure on state government as threats to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Along with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and private insurance, these programs were vital for boosting coverage rates for children and adolescents beyond 95 percent in 2015.

CHIP “is an essential backstop to preserving the historically high rates of children’s health coverage we have today,” PolicyLab Director David Rubin, MD, MCSE, and Deputy Director Meredith Matone, DrPH, MHS, said in the blog post.

CHIP becomes an even more critical program for children with the future of both the ACA and Medicaid in question. Despite its importance, the program is in danger unless Congress reauthorizes funding.

“[We] cannot allow the election and its potential repercussions for the healthcare system to move our focus away from protecting programs and policies that affect children’s health and welfare,” they said.

Drs. Rubin and Matone addressed the drivers for PolicyLab’s work, including access to qualified healthcare providers for all children and adolescents, regardless of race, ethnicity, immigrant status, or sexual orientation. They also discussed the importance of intergenerational family services, and the challenges of transitioning older youths into adult care.

PolicyLab’s mission is to achieve optimal child health and well-being by informing program and policy changes through interdisciplinary research. Learn more about the important work PolicyLab does to inform policies and practices affecting child health by visiting their website.  View the original blog post here.