COLUMBUS, Ohio – Health advocates are pushing the US Senate to approve the Build Back Better Act because it would improve Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
The bill has already obtained the approval of the House. It would provide 12 months of continuous coverage to children eligible for Medicaid.
Joan Alker, executive director of the Center for Children and Families, co-authored a new memoir, which showed that in Trump’s early years, one in ten children experienced a coverage gap within 12 months.
“After seeing this disturbing reversal in the progress we had made as a country to reduce the number of uninsured children – which stopped in 2017 and started to go in the wrong direction – the Rebuild Bill better was going to be a real game-changer and start moving the country in the right direction, ”Alker said.
The rate of children without health insurance in Ohio increased by one percentage point between 2016 and 2019 to 4.8%. Opponents say the $ 2,000 billion Build Back Better Act is too expensive. The bill would also fund CHIP on a permanent basis, so it wouldn’t have to be renewed every few years.
In Ohio, children in families of three earning about $ 46,000 a year or less are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP coverage.
Kelly Vyzral, senior health policy associate for the Ohio Children’s Advocacy Fund, explained that the Build Back Better Act would streamline the application process by permanently extending eligibility to Express Lane, which allows states to use information from other public assistance programs.
“If someone were to apply for SNAP, they have to go to one site. If they want to apply for WIC, they go to another site. If they want Medicaid, they have to go to a site. other site, ”Vyzral explained. “So just putting all of these things together makes it easier for families to access these programs.”
Ohio recently extended postpartum care to 12 months, and it would become permanent if Build Back Better became law. Vyzral added that he would also take a team approach to maternal health.
“It provides resources and those connections to health care for pregnant women,” Vyzral said. “And that puts in the picture the community workers, doulas, behavioral health specialists, social workers and others who have helped this mother to feel comfortable, to feel protected, to feel safe. feel taken care of. ”
The latest data shows that 938 infants in Ohio died before their first birthday in 2018, a rate of nearly 7%.