Children’s Health Advocates Cheer Supreme Court Decision

For Immediate Release
June 28, 2012
For More Information Contact:
Isobel White, (510) 828-3554 Michele Stillwell-Parvensky, (510) 663-1294

Millions of California children will continue to benefit from Affordable Care Act as implementation progresses

OAKLAND, CA – Leading children’s health advocates in California applauded the Supreme Court’s decision today to uphold the Affordable Care Act as a victory for California’s children. Advocates noted that millions of California children and families will continue to benefit from the landmark legislation and called on California policymakers to move full speed ahead toward comprehensive, affordable health coverage for every child in the state.

“The Affordable Care Act has already been a huge win for California children,” said Jamila Edwards, Northern California Director of Children’s Defense Fund-California. “Tonight, parents can rest easier knowing the law’s benefits will be there for their children tomorrow, and that more benefits are on the way. We are excited to move forward towards full implementation of the Affordable Care Act in a way that maximizes the benefits for California children."

“Today the Supreme Court has answered the hopes of millions of Americans – and Californians – by upholding the Affordable Care Act.  For those of us in the faith community, health care reform has been about affirming the dignity of every person and the proper role of both individuals and government in safeguarding this dignity, through such means as providing access to basic health care,” said Corey Timpson, Executive Director of PICO California. “This decision strengthens the moral fabric of our nation by affirming these principles.”

Millions of California children have already benefited directly from the Affordable Care Act:

  • 576,000 California children with pre-existing conditions no longer have to worry about being denied health coverage;
  • 435,000 California young adults have been able to get health insurance through their parent’s coverage;
  • 1.6 million California children are receiving expanded coverage of preventive services without co-pays; 
  • 3.2 million California children no longer face lifetime limits on health benefits; and
  • 4.5 million California children with Medi-Cal or Healthy Families have had their coverage protected and strengthened.

“Moreover, the Affordable Care Act prioritizes the health of all of our children and communities by investing in prevention, so we can keep children from getting sick in the first place,” said Ted Lempert, President of Children Now. The Affordable Care Act has invested over $85 million to promote wellness and disease prevention in California.

Millions more children and families will benefit once the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented. Starting in 2014, the California Health Benefit Exchange will provide a way for millions of Californians to find quality health coverage. The Exchange will also offer tax subsidies to 2.2 million Californians to make insurance premiums more affordable.

Among the many families who have already benefited from the Affordable Care Act is the Charlton family of Los Angeles. Rebecca Charlton is thankful that her 1-year-old son Trevon will never be denied treatment for his complicated asthma, because the Affordable Care Act prohibits insurers from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. “I knew that this could be a life-long problem, and I was aware that only a few short years ago before health care reform was passed, this diagnosis could have plagued my son for years,” Rebecca said.

“Even as we celebrate this victory for California children, we recognize the hard work that is needed to get all eligible children enrolled in coverage as the law continues to be implemented,” said Wendy Lazarus, Founder and Co-President of The Children’s Partnership. “Together we must build upon the substantial progress for children’s health care under the law and work until every child is guaranteed access to comprehensive, affordable health care.”

“Hundreds of thousands of California children can enroll today in free or low-cost comprehensive health coverage,” added Suzie Shupe, Executive Director of California Coverage & Health Initiatives. “Families can apply by calling 1-877-KIDS-NOW.”