By Kimberley Chin, Programme Executive, Atlantic Philanthropies
State advocates face enormous challenges–shrinking resources, entrenched politics, an often disinterested press. Yet somehow, we manage to get it done.Just about every major federal policy initiative begins and ends at the state.It was the states that conceived of what became CHIP, launched the first health benefit exchanges with public subsidies, and expanded Medicaid to cover more working families.Now, with the Affordable Care Act, states are the ones who are charged with implementation and the ultimate success or failure of health reform rests in their hands.
It was with this challenge in mind that The Atlantic Philanthropies funded www.kidswellcampaign.org, which was launched this week and is powered by Manatt Health Solutions. This website, with a wealth of information about what is happening in the states, will be a great resource for child health advocates and everyone working towards full implementation of health care reform.
With implementation of health reform, advocates have their work cut out for them. States must pass enabling legislation, promulgate regulations, and build new business processes and IT system, all in what in state government time is a blink of an eye. The website, www.kidswellcampaign.org, is designed to help make this job just a little bit easier by helping state and national advocates track implementation and opposition activities and trends within and across states.
Drawing on a growing repository of more than 1,200 records from all fifty states and both public and original sources, the website offers users the ability to:
- Track specific health reform provisions and children’s coverage issues state by state;
- Search across multiple states for health reform trends and developments;
- Access state profiles providing baseline information on children’s coverage programs, insurance rates, and key political figures;
- View snapshots of implementation and opposition activities;
- Download weekly newsletters summarizing relevant developments; and
- Access reports and other advocacy resources created by KidsWell partners.
The website focuses on health insurance coverage programs and provisions under the Affordable Care Act, including Medicaid, the Child Health Insurance Program, Health Benefit Exchanges, and health insurance regulatory reforms.I hope you’ll check it out and let us know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org.