While there are a wide array of opinions about health care reform and its impact, it is indisputable that our nation's children, especially low-income children and those with special health care needs, are better off today because of the new law. Repealing health reform would be devastating for these the millions children and families who already are or soon will benefit from this historic legislation. Why? Here are 10 key reasons:
1. If health reform were repealed, insurers would go back to denying coverage for children with pre-existing conditions. Parents of children with cancer, children born with a birth defect, children with asthma, special-needs kids, among others, would once again be unable to get coverage for their kids without the Affordable Care Act.
2. Insurers would return to the practice of placing lifetime limits on coverage so that if a child is fortunate enough to beat leukemia when they are 8 they would be uninsurable if they face another serious illness later in life.
3. Dependent children through age 26 would not be guaranteed access to coverage on their parents' policy, leaving scores of young adults, including recent high school and college grads, back among the ranks of the uninsured.
4. Insurers would not have to cover vision care services or eyeglasses for children even if it is impossible for a child to be successful in school if they can't see.Read it all here.
5. Insurers also would not be required to cover dental care, a horrible return to the days when lack of coverage could cause a child to die from an infected tooth that could have been addressed for about 100.
6. Repealing health reform would jeopardize the future of the successful Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), a federal-state program that offers low or no-cost coverage for families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to buy their own coverage. CHIP and Medicaid have been crucial for families during this recession, ensuring that coverage for kids has remained stable despite the downturn in the economy.
7. Children with terminal illnesses would be returned to the days when they would not be able to get compassionate end-of-life hospice care unless they agreed to forgo looking for a cure for their illness.
8. Insurers would be allowed to resume the practice of charging co-payments for preventive health services, including essential well-baby and well-child visits, and vaccinations, creating financial disincentives for parents to get care for their children that keeps them healthy.
9. Children in foster care would no longer qualify for Medicaid beyond age 18.
10. New efforts to eliminate bureaucratic red tape and streamline enrollment processes for children who are already eligible but not enrolled in public health coverage would suffer if health reform was repealed. Nearly two-thirds of children who are uninsured actually qualify for coverage but face significant barriers that make it difficult for them to sign-up or re-enroll for coverage.