Battle over health care continues, but children are still at risk – Arizona Capitol Times – Arizona News

Battle over health care continues, but children are still at risk – Arizona Capitol Times – Arizona News

Last week, the nation was shocked to see U.S. Senator John McCain vote against the proposed Health Care Freedom Act (or “skinny repeal”), effectively ending the Senate’s multi-month effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

At Phoenix Children’s Hospital, McCain’s vote evoked a sigh of relief. The result affords our nation exactly what was needed to find a stronger solution for effective health care reform – more time to discuss the importance of protecting critical services to the more than 636,000 Arizona children who rely on Medicaid.

Bob Meyer

Bob Meyer

In the U.S., children’s hospitals provide everything from routine care for pediatric patients to specialized treatment for the sickest 20 percent of kids. Medicaid helps low income children receive preventative care and helps kids with private insurance who have chronic, long term conditions that require expensive treatment not covered by commercial insurance plans.

Locally, Medicaid provides more than 50 percent of funding for Phoenix Children’s, since much of our population is disabled or medically complex. Without federal funding, our ability to care for the state’s most vulnerable residents is at dire risk.

At Phoenix Children’s, we believe that the national discourse about health care costs should – and must – continue. The ACA is far from perfect, and rising costs are a concern for consumers and health care providers alike. Likewise, we firmly believe that health care organizations must be responsible and accountable to patients and taxpayers. Moving forward, there are two crucial issues that we believe must be addressed:

Children are a unique Medicaid population:

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