Health care sets the foundation for a child’s lifetime well-being.
Yet, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R – CA) released a Republican Federal budget proposal that would cut millions of children off from care.
The Republican proposal would mean deep cuts to Medicaid. The impact on children’s health could be devastating. Check out these numbers.
- Over 41 million U.S. children are covered by Medicaid health services
- 7 million children with special health care needs in the U.S. rely on Medicaid
- Children with developmental and other disabilities, and children needing special education services use Medicaid as their go-to health insurance
- 42% of all U.S. births are covered by Medicaid
Further, McCarthy’s proposal adds biased work requirements to Medicaid.
To be clear, work requirements do not have anything to do with promoting work.
Most Medicaid families who can work, do work. Claims to the contrary are often rooted in prejudices about people based on race, gender, disability status, and class.Read about the harms of work requirements (from Urban Institute)
Work requirements are a racist, sexist legacy of the 1996 Welfare Reform Act. Research shows they are ineffective. Plus, they disproportionately hurt children from families with low incomes who are Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian American, and come from mixed-ethnicity and immigrant backgrounds.
Work requirements also punish people who are caring for children and family members. They punish those going to school to further their careers. They punish people who are disabled. And they punish people who lose a job unexpectedly.
Work requirements ignore the complex reality for American families today. Parents and caregivers are often part of a low-paid labor market. They lack child care and paid sick and family leave. Health and disability issues, or the need to care for a family member, may affect their lives.
All of these scenarios rip support from families in times when they need it most.
Let’s be clear: health care is a human right. It’s fundamental to our children’s long-term well-being.
Our children, families, seniors, people with disabilities, veterans and more deserve access to health care.
Beyond Medicaid, this bill would have a huge impact on other programs that affect children’s health and well-being. This includes cuts to child care, Head Start, housing, and food assistance.
Nationwide, more than 10 million people, about 1 in 4 SNAP (food assistance) participants, live in households that would be at risk of losing benefits under this bill. This includes about 4 million children who live in families that could have their SNAP benefits reduced. These cuts would harm the entire household.
Data from Center on Budget & Policy Priorities