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Children & Health Reform: Where We Stand
Date:12/24/2009

standpoint.

"As the bill moves forward, CHF urges Congress to preserve CHIP and provide funding for the entire authorization period.

"We are pleased with the number of positive health measures for kids and their families, among which are provisions that will require insurance companies to allow children to stay on their parent's plans until they are 26 years old and Medicaid expansions that allow foster children to remain on Medicaid until they are 26 years old.

"The legislation bans insurance companies from denying children with pre-existing conditions coverage under their parent's plans, an important reform measure which we believe will enable sick children, and families suffering under debt, to get the care kids need.

"Likewise, we are pleased with the inclusion of pediatric specific benefits in the list of essential benefits to be provided to all Americans in the newly formed exchange and efforts to strengthen access to oral health for children. Pediatric oral health is often lacking in medically underserved areas, with dire consequences for children and families.

"As a partner with several community health centers across the country, we are encouraged by the increased funding for community health centers and the bonus payment for primary care providers in medically underserved areas.

"In terms of insurance affordability, although the bill provides subsidies to help low income uninsured families purchase insurance, the help is not sufficient to ensure healthcare options are affordable and we urge Congress to increase these subsidies.

"We are heartened to see loan repayment scholarship programs to incentivize more primary care physicians to join the pediatric workforce and to work in health professional shortage areas as well as increased funding to community health centers, but we remain concerned that the funding is insufficient to meet a massively increased need for primary care.
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SOURCE Children's Health Fund
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