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 Legislative & Policy Corner

Time to Schedule Your Conference Hill Visits!
 Now is the time to (re)schedule visits with your Senators and Representatives and this time AMCHP staff wants to make it easier on you – we will schedule the meetings for you!  We encourage you to conduct your visits on Thursday Apr.7 or Friday Apr. 8, however you may use any available time while you are in Washington, DC. Simply fill out this form and be sure to list any times on Thursday April 7 or Friday April 8 that you are unavailable. We will schedule the meetings for you and contact you as soon as possible with confirmation. As a reminder, background information to support Hill visits including copies of advocacy materials are posted here.  Please also join us on Thursday April 7 at 9:00am for our workshop on Advocacy in the Age of MCH Transformation to prepare you for your visits and get the latest information about what's going on in Congress! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Amy Haddad or Brent Ewig

Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act Introduced in House
On Mar. 3, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) introduced the bipartisan Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act. This bill seeks to improve the quality of maternity care for mothers and babies by identifying gaps in performance measures for Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), direct development of maternity Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) surveys, and expand maternity care quality collaborative.  AMCHP is pleased to lend its support to this legislation.

Health Reform Implementation

20 Million People now Covered Under the Affordable Care Act
A new report published on Mar. 3 indicates that an estimated 20 million people have gained health insurance coverage since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010. The report includes those who have gained coverage under the Medicaid expansion and Health Insurance Marketplaces, as well as those newly enrolled in private insurance that allows young adults to stay on their parent's health insurance plans and requires plans to cover people with pre-existing health conditions. This report is limited to estimates of coverage gains for individuals 18-64 years of age that are attributable to the provisions of the ACA. Excluding children and seniors, the report finds that 11.5 percent of U.S. nonelderly adults were uninsured as of early 2016, based on data from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

Medicaid Informational Bulletin on Financing Options for Home Visiting
On Mar. 2, the Center for Medicaid & CHIP Services (CMCS) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) released a joint informational bulletin about resources and financing options for states to implement home visiting (MIECHV). The bulletin is intended to assist states in designing a benefit package to provide home visiting services for pregnant women and families with young children. It is also designed to help states explore a number of financing options through state and federal means. CMCS and HRSA encourage state agencies such as Medicaid, Maternal and Child Health programs (Title V), and others to use this information to improve access and service delivery for MIECHV beneficiaries.

HHS Expands Head Start Funding in Flint, MI
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced that Head Start and Early Head Start services will expand immediately in Flint, Michigan, to help children and families exposed to lead in the city's water supply. HHS will provide $3.6 million in one-time emergency funding to support immediate actions that current Flint Head Start grantees can take to expand and enhance services for preschoolers. This funding provision is the latest action taken by federal agencies to support the state and local response to the Flint water crisis.
CMS Approves Michigan's 1115 Demonstration Waiver Application to Extend Medicaid Coverage and Services to Flint Residents Impacted by Lead Exposure
In recognition of the public health crisis in Flint, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved a waiver application to extend Medicaid coverage to Flint-area residents impacted by lead exposure. HHS has made it clear that all children and pregnant women exposed to lead in their water in Flint should have access to the services they need. Approximately 15,000 additional children and pregnant women will be eligible for Medicaid coverage and 30,000 current Medicaid beneficiaries in the area will be eligible for expanded services under this new waiver agreement.