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TLC Star Urges Lawmakers to be Champions for Kids

In the U.S., 30 million children rely on Medicaid. (cdc.gov)
In the U.S., 30 million children rely on Medicaid. (cdc.gov)
July 17, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS – An effort is under way to convince lawmakers to become champions for children's health.

President Donald Trump has pledged to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but advocates are crying foul because they say it will hurt the most vulnerable Americans.

Dr. Jennifer Arnold, star of TLC's "The Little Couple," is with the group Speak Now for Kids and says 30 million children rely on Medicaid, which would be on the chopping block under the Republican Party’s health care proposals.

Many of those children have complex medical needs such as disabilities, cystic fibrosis, congenital heart disease and cancer.

Arnold says many of these children would be left without health insurance coverage.

"Regardless of family income, parents rely on Medicaid and CHIP to be able to afford the complex medical needs of their children, who will potentially be impacted to lose that coverage and then ultimately put their health at risk," she stresses.

Arnold says the children's hospitals that serve these children might not be able to stay afloat if there are cuts to Medicaid. She says lawmakers need to think of them when they're debating what to do about health care in this country.

Arnold points out hospitals that are able to remain in business may only be located in large metropolitan areas.

"Families will have to travel further to get access to care,” she stresses. “The care may not be as good or available and we may not be able to train as many pediatricians because we have less funding for pediatric trainees."

Children make up nearly half of Medicaid enrollees, yet account for just 19 percent of costs.

Arnold says Medicaid's core benefit supports children's growth by meeting their developmental needs, and gives them access to preventive care that reduces health problems in the future and keeps costs down.


Veronica Carter, Public News Service - IN