School-Based Health Alliance Strongly Opposes House-Passed American Health Care Act

Washington, DC—John Schlitt, president of the School-Based Health Alliance, issued the following statement today on the passage of the American Health Care Act (H.R. 1628) by the U.S. House of Representatives:

“Yesterday, the House of Representatives narrowly passed the dangerous and reckless American Health Care Act—a bill that widens the unjust gaps in health and education outcomes that low-income and minority children, adolescents, and families already experience every day. In addition to fundamentally dismantling Medicaid’s financing structure and ending the Medicaid expansion option for states, this bill does away with core components of the Affordable Care Act by making coverage unaffordable for those with pre-existing conditions and giving states the risky option to cut essential health benefits, such as mental health care, for vulnerable families.

Protecting Medicaid is critically important to the millions of low-income children and adolescents in this country who comprise nearly half of all Medicaid recipients. The restructuring of Medicaid from an entitlement system to a capped one threatens access to care and may even force state governments to cut eligibility and benefits that include comprehensive well-child visits and other services offered in our nation’s 2,315 school-based health centers.

Today, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), 95 percent of children in America have health coverage—an historic high. The American Health Care Act endangers this progress at a time when we must move forward for children, not backwards. We urge the Senate to be thoughtful and deliberative as they consider this bill and ensure that any future law does no harm to children and adolescents and their families.”

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