Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Kim Schrier, M.D. (WA-08)
ISSAQUAH, WA – Congresswoman Kim Schrier, M.D. (WA-08) has introduced legislation that will ensure children can access necessary, affordable care. The Helping Families Access Pediatric Care Act (HR 8573) will make sure that outpatient pediatric care is not subject to a deductible, allowing preventative and up-front care to be affordable for all families.
“As a pediatrician, I know that many families will delay or forego office visits because of the prohibitive cost, particularly at the start of the year. This is because of high deductibles,” said Rep. Schrier. “Unfortunately, this means that mild illnesses can turn into serious ones when they are not addressed in a timely fashion. For example, a mild pneumonia that the pediatrician could treat with oral antibiotics could turn into a severe case that would require an ED visit, hospitalization, and IV antibiotics. That is exactly the opposite of what we should be striving for, and is why I’m introducing this bill. We want to remove barriers to care, and make sure that no family needs to make the difficult decision between taking their child to the doctor and putting food on the table. Investing in our children early means keeping them healthy, and putting less financial burden on the patient and the system.”
To make sure families are not discouraged from seeking appropriate and necessary care, the Helping Families Access Pediatric Care Act will ensure all outpatient pediatric care and similar telehealth visits for pediatric care are not subject to a deductible. This will enable children to receive the care they need, regardless of their insurance.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, families are worried not only about their children’s health but also about their financial security. Family physicians have seen firsthand how important it is that our patients have access to primary care without financial barriers. The Helping Families Access Pediatric Care Act would help ensure that our patients can access to affordable, high-quality and comprehensive health care that keeps them healthier and saves money in the long run. The American Academy of Family Physicians applauds this bill and calls on Congress to pass this legislation without delay,” said American Academy of Family Physicians President Ada D. Stewart, MD, FAAFP.
“Pediatricians understand the critical importance of access to affordable, high-quality and comprehensive health care for our young patients. Deductibles and other cost sharing mechanisms should not prevent children from receiving the timely care and services they need. The Helping Families Access Pediatric Care Act would make great strides toward improving access and affordability for children and families, no matter their source of coverage. The American Academy of Pediatrics thanks Representative Kim Schrier, MD, FAAP (D-Wash.) for her leadership on this bill, and is calling on Congress to advance the legislation without delay,” said American Academy of Pediatrics President Sally Goza, MD, FAAP.
This bill is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, Children’s Hospital Association, Zero to Three, the Child Welfare League of America, Families USA, First Focus Campaign for Children, and The Children’s Defense Fund.