We Must Stand Together to Protect the Health of Our Nation’s Youth

I am deeply alarmed by the American Health Care Act (AHCA) that was passed in the House of Representatives because it puts the health of our nation’s children at risk. As I think about how the bill jeopardizes healthcare access for the more than 30 million children in the country and more than half of the children in our four-state region who rely on Medicaid, I can’t stand idly by.

It’s for this reason I went to Washington D.C. last week to urge our region’s elected officials, from Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho, to continue the tradition of fighting for the health and well-being of children irrespective of their condition, disease or parents’ financial status. And I am asking you to join me in making your voices heard.

Medicaid not only allows children access to ongoing preventative healthcare, such as well-child visits, immunizations and dental services, it also provides coverage for children with complex medical conditions. We must stand together to protect them and ensure all children are able to access the healthcare they need.

We are greatly concerned by a recent report that showed the AHCA as proposed would cut Medicaid funding for low-income children by $43 billion by 2026. This would have devastating effects on millions of children’s lives. At Seattle Children’s alone, about 50% of the patients we care for rely on Medicaid for healthcare coverage. And we know a far greater number of children outside our walls rely on Medicaid for the care that keeps them healthy and out of the hospital. We must stand together to ensure they can receive the medical care they need to grow into thriving, contributing members of our community.

Make your voice heard now

The bottom line is we should not be harming kids as an outcome of healthcare reform. As a country, we have committed to covering seniors through Medicare, and we should make this same commitment to covering children and improving their access to healthcare through Medicaid. We must stand together and urge our leaders in D.C. on both sides of the aisle to safeguard children’s health by maintaining Medicaid coverage, funding and benefits for our country’s youth. After all, they may be 0% of the vote, but they are 100% of our future.

Join me now in urging your elected officials to oppose healthcare reform that threatens our children’s health.