Have a Heart for Kids Day rally, 2015

The threat to Apple Health for Kids

Adam 03/22/17

Congress seems to be on the verge of toppling one of the pillars of financial support for Apple Health for Kids. It’s an alarming move for the future of Washington state, jeopardizing a decade of progress under the state’s Cover All Kids law. That progress has changed children’s lives across Washington. For example, the rate of Latino kids going without health insurance dropped from 18 percent in 2008 to just 3 percent in 2015—improving health equity and helping more kids grow up in their best health. 

The House of Representatives’ American Health Care Act (AHCA) repeals sections of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and fundamentally restructures Medicaid, the primary funding stream for Apple Health for Kids.

This week, we asked Washingtonians to call Congress and oppose the American Health Care Act. And we joined hundreds of state, local and nationwide organizations in asking Congress to do no harm to kids.

Here’s why. Obamacare plus the state’s 2007 Cover All Kids law has reduced the number of uninsured Washington children to its lowest level in history. And we have made tremendous progress in connecting more children of color with the health care they need to thrive.

Preserving this progress would cost the state $20-$27 billion over 10 years, according to an analysis published this week by the nonpartisan Urban Institute. With drastic cuts to federal health care funding proposed in the AHCA, state lawmakers would have to either raise the necessary revenue or restructure Apple Health for Kids—scrapping its affordable coverage and foisting devastating health care costs onto low-income families.

Fiscal challenges are just the beginning. Here are four more reasons to oppose Congress’s repeal of Obamacare. And this week’s amendments to the AHCA would put even more pressure on Washington state and leave families paying more for less.

Members of the U.S. House and Senate still need to hear from their constituents. How has health coverage helped your family? Tell your elected representative: Call Congress now.