American Academy of Pediatrics and Georgetown University CCF Urge PHE Extension to Protect Children from Losing Medicaid Health Coverage

In an opinion piece for The Hill, American Academy of Pediatrics President Dr. Moira Szilagyi and Georgetown University Center for Children and Families Executive Director Joan Alker explain why it is so critical for the Biden administration to continue the public health emergency beyond July 15. An estimated 7 million children nationwide are at considerable risk of losing coverage when the PHE continuous eligibility protection ends.

In the op-ed published today, they write:

“COVID is still having a big impact on children; pediatric cases are once again rising, and children under age five are still not eligible for a vaccine. Critically, half of all children in the U.S. now rely on Medicaid to meet their preventive, acute health, and behavioral health care needs. Medicaid plays an even bigger role in providing coverage to Black and Latino children.”

“Access to mental health services in Medicaid is particularly crucial right now, with higher rates of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic symptoms among children during the pandemic, especially among young people of color.”

Read the full op-ed on The Hill to learn more about why the Biden administration should keep the PHE protections in place until children are on firmer ground.

Moira Szilagyi, MD, Ph.D., FAAP is president of the American Academy of Pediatrics and is a primary care pediatrician, educator, and professor of pediatrics at UCLA.

Joan Alker is the executive director of the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, a nonpartisan research center based at the McCourt School of Public Policy.