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CWLA Denounces Congress' Repeal of the Health Care Act

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Shawn Flaherty

WASHINGTON, DC - The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), the nation's oldest and largest membership-based child welfare organization, is speaking out against the House of Representatives' vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

"We are very disappointed with the House's vote to repeal this historic legislation. In this land of plenty, it is simply unacceptable that we would place the health needs of vulnerable children at risk. Protecting access to health care is a critical building block for the nation's well-being," explained Christine James-Brown. "As the House and Senate continue to review this act, we hope they will consider the needs of children--especially children in foster care."

Prior to yesterday's vote, CWLA's CEO sent a letter opposing the repeal of P.L. 111-148--The Affordable Care Act--to the House leadership, including Congressman Boehner, Congressman Cantor, Congresswoman Pelosi, and Congressman Hoyer. Specifically, the letter asked them to protect the many improvements that the law makes for children, including:
  • preserving the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through 2019--which remains essential for children whose families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to purchase private insurance;
  • expanding Medicaid under the ACA to provide continued support for former foster youth after they age out of the system as well as other low-income populations; and
  • providing federal funding for home visiting programs to keep children who may be at-risk of entering the child welfare system, in safe and stable homes.
Brown added: "As the country continues to face many challenges with a growing poverty rate that disproportionately affects children, high unemployment, and millions of uninsured families, the Affordable Care Act provides a beacon of hope that children can be a priority for the nation."

CWLA's recent legislative wish list proposed to the President and Congress in preparation for the State of the Union also encouraged support for the ACA, including implementing the full array of improvements called for in the bill. In addition, the wish list called for: continued support for the 2008 Fostering Connections Act to reform the child welfare system; federal investments in services and supports for children since abuse and neglect rates are starting to rise; and support of a White House Conference on Children and Youth, a long-overdue means to convene a national discourse on the topic of vulnerable children.

About CWLA CWLA is a powerful coalition of hundreds of private and public agencies serving vulnerable children and families since 1920. Through its programs, publications, conferences, professional development, and consultation, CWLA speaks with authority and candor about the status and the needs of American children, young people, and families. As the nationally recognized standard-setter for child welfare services, CWLA provides direct support to agencies that serve children and families, improving the quality of the services they provide to more than nine million children every year.

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