Recently, at each of our hospitals, a woman gave birth to a baby with a severe heart defect. Twenty years ago, these babies may not have lived. Today, after complex surgery and specialist care, each will go to school, live a normal life. The medical miracles that saved these infants — and that could save the child of someone you love — were perfected with support from Medicaid. New medical technologies for children with debilitating (and often rare) conditions are almost universally discovered, tested, and improved at hospitals and clinics that have been largely funded over the past 50 years by the Medicaid program.
Unfortunately, the Senate’s version of the American Health Care Act contains more than $800 billion in cuts to the Medicaid program over the next 10 years — cuts that will likely have negative impact on healthcare for all US children.
All children — poor, rich, and middle class — depend on Medicaid. In the United States, more than 40 percent of children are insured by Medicaid, and in many states, Medicaid covers two out of three children. Without Medicaid, children in your child’s school will have decreased access to life-saving vaccinations, autism screening, and other preventive healthcare. When they get acutely ill, children who lose their Medicaid coverage will be more likely to come to school sick, or will become dependent on costly and unnecessary emergency room services. That increases the local tax burden and commercial-insurance premiums, and diverts emergency-care resources from the patients who need them most.