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New Legislation Proposes Automatic Medicaid Enrollment for Children

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U.S. Senator Bob Casey has introduced the “Medicaid for Every Child Act,” a legislative proposal aimed at simplifying healthcare access for children under the age of 18.

The proposed act seeks to address concerns about children’s access to healthcare, emphasizing simplicity and inclusivity. Under this legislation, children would be automatically enrolled in Medicaid at birth, maintaining this eligibility until they reach 18, without the need for frequent reevaluations. Parents would have the option to opt their child out of Medicaid if alternative healthcare coverage, such as CHIP, marketplace plans, or employer-sponsored coverage, is in place.

This legislative move builds upon previous bipartisan commitments to expanding healthcare coverage for children. During the pandemic, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which required states to maintain coverage for children through Medicaid or CHIP. This led to a notable increase in children’s enrollment in health insurance, highlighting the importance of comprehensive children’s healthcare coverage nationwide. Recent rollbacks of pandemic-related requirements have raised concerns about potential disruptions in children’s access to healthcare as Medicaid and CHIP eligibility undergo reevaluation across the country.

Senator Casey’s broader vision for children’s well-being is encapsulated in his “Five Freedoms for America’s Children” legislation, unveiled in 2021. This comprehensive legislative agenda aims to ensure five fundamental freedoms for every American child: the freedom to be healthy, economically secure, educated, free from hunger, and safe from harm. The proposed automatic enrollment of children in Medicaid at birth aligns with this overarching vision for improving the well-being of American children.

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