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Month: March 2017

Statement on the Threat to Essential Health Benefits

We at 1,000 Days are profoundly troubled by reports that the leadership of the U.S House of Representatives is working to take away the guaranteed health benefits that are critical to ensuring healthy pregnancies and healthy babies.  As part of the American Health Care Act, (a.k.a.“TrumpCare”), many in the White House and Congress want to take away the “essential health benefit” requirement which covers pregnancy and maternity services, childbirth and newborn and pediatric care, and they are rushing this to a vote at any cost.  This is dangerous and irresponsible.

Without comprehensive coverage for maternity care, childbirth and pediatric services, a woman and her baby are put at greater risk for serious health problems including low birthweight, preterm birth, and even death.  Moreover, when moms and babies don’t have adequate health care, we all pay the price.  Pre-term births alone are estimated to cost the U.S. $26 billion per year in medical and social services costs and lost wages and economic productivity.

Ensuring that women have the health coverage they need to have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies should be a non-negotiable.  Maternity care, childbirth and pediatric services must remain essential health benefits and must be required to be covered by all health insurance plans in the U.S.

We urge Congress to strongly reject the American Health Care Act which will force many hard-working families to pay more money for lower quality insurance and endanger the wellbeing of mothers and young children throughout America.

Proposed Budget Cuts Would Leave Behind The World’s Most Vulnerable, Undermine Our Future

1,000 Days is deeply troubled by the Trump Administration’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2018, which, through drastic cuts to lifesaving foreign assistance programs, would hurt the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.  These cuts come at a time when the world is facing a vast crisis of malnutrition and famine that is taking the lives of young children each day.

The Administration’s proposed 28% cut to the foreign assistance budget is simply not in the national interest of the United States. It will not make Americans any safer or more prosperous and will do little to balance our country’s budget. On the contrary, this shortsighted request will ultimately cost American taxpayers more money, requiring more costly interventions in subsequent years to address the destabilizing effect that malnutrition, poverty, and disease have on communities.

Foreign assistance programs, which constitute less than 1% of the federal budget, have outsized impact around the world. U.S. investments to combat global malnutrition deliver proven interventions that save and improve lives and build trading partners for American businesses. Annual GDP losses attributable to malnutrition average 12% in Africa and Asia, eclipsing the GDP losses experienced after the 2008 global financial crisis. But, for every $1 invested in improving nutrition in the 1,000 day window between pregnancy and age two, we see a return of $48 in better health and economic productivity.

To see sustainable gains in nutrition, we must ensure that a multi-sectoral range of programs is protected and, ultimately, grown. This includes bilateral U.S. development investments as well as our country’s contributions to critical multilateral organizations, such as the United Nations and the World Bank. And, to effectively deliver, we must ensure that the expertise of USAID, the U.S. government’s lead development agency, is strengthened.

We look to Members of Congress to continue their remarkable leadership in promoting international development by securing and protecting the FY 2018 International Affairs budget as an investment in our national security and in our future prosperity.

Statement on the Introduction of the American Health Care Act

1,000 Days has serious concerns about how the American Health Care Act will negatively affect the health and well-being of babies, toddlers and their parents.  As proposed, this bill will force many hard-working families of young children to pay more money for lower quality insurance.

The 1,000 day window between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s 2nd birthday is a critical window of opportunity to ensure healthy and thriving futures. For this reason, 1,000 Days supports comprehensive coverage for pre-conception and pre-natal care, maternity services, breastfeeding and post-partum supports, pediatric care and other essential maternal, infant and young child health services as well as investments in ensuring families with young children can access Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) as needed.

The American Health Care Act puts the health of children during their first 1,000 days at risk.  It will make coverage in the health insurance marketplace more expensive and out-of-reach for millions of hard-working families.  Under the American Health Care Act, a woman will pay more out-of-pocket to get the critical health services she needs before, during and after pregnancy that help ensure she has a healthy baby.  And when expectant mothers can’t afford health insurance, we all pay the price.

We are also concerned about the severe cuts to Medicaid and CHIP, which today play a critical role in providing health insurance to low-income Americans. Medicaid and CHIP currently provide coverage for 45% of all children under the age of six and the Medicaid expansion helped more than 10 million adults gain coverage for the first time. The American Health Care Act threatens to cut off millions of young children and their parents from their health insurance and strip away the essential benefits guaranteed in Medicaid, which means that some women will no longer be assured they can get the medical services they need to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

All children in America deserve a healthy start to life.  The American Health Care Act makes it harder and more expensive for families to access the health care they need to ensure that their children have the healthiest first 1,000 days and the opportunity to reach their full potential. 1,000 Days urges Congress to vigorously oppose this proposal and instead focus on building a healthcare system that ensures all mothers, babies and toddlers in America have the care they need to thrive.