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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 info@kidswellcampaign.org. 

  • Cathy

    I really like the weekly update feature on your website. There is so much to keep track of. This is a very valuable tool.

  • Katie Vaughn

    As a nurse and graduate student that works in both Tennessee and Mississippi, I am confused at times about the differences in state requirements for insurance programs such as Medicaid and CHIP. It is beneficial for me to be aware of the eligibility requirements and coverage options for each state as this plays a role in the access to care for my patients. Equally important is the stance each state legislature has toward the Affordable Care Act as this will greatly impact the future of health care. This site serves as a wonderful resource for individuals striving to become more knowledgeable and because provides quick access to specific state information that I have often found difficult to locate.
    My hometown state of Mississippi has a bad reputation with its ranking in health poles. It is frustrating to me as a resident of one of the unhealthiest states in America to see the government make changes in our programs such as Medicaid and CHIP that could hinder funding to state’s children instead of providing better access. With that in mind, it was refreshing to see on the KidsWell Health Care website the stand that our governor, Haley Barbour is taking to defend our children and strive to see that tax dollars are spent in the wisest way possible. One simply cannot look at the website statistics that show that 44% of Mississippi children are covered under Medicaid/CHIP and not have great concern as to how the Exchange will affect coverage for our children…the ones unable to speak up for themselves.