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.