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June 2014

A New Opportunity to Define Health Care Reform for Children

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • 2PolicyLab, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 3Division of General Pediatrics, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
JAMA Pediatr. 2014;168(6):503-504. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.221

The magic year for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), 2014, is now upon us. The transition of millions of uninsured individuals into new insurance exchange markets has not been smooth, but as the challenges are addressed, our collective attention should turn to ensuring that the law meets the needs of the people it was intended to serve. This is especially true for children.

Regardless of its imperfections, the ACA’s goal of broad and affordable coverage for more than 32 million people is a major and unprecedented step forward.1 Large risk pools created by having all individuals covered are also critical in ending underwriting practices that exclude individuals with preexisting conditions. These protections, among others that limit cost sharing for primary health care, were clear wins for children.

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