Children's Hospital Colorado

Frequently Asked Questions about the Affordable Care Act

Frequently asked questions

1. What is the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?

The Affordable Care Act is the comprehensive healthcare reform law enacted in March 2010. The law has three primary goals: make health insurance available to more people; reform the insurance industry to put consumer protections in place; and support innovative medical care delivery methods designed to lower the cost of healthcare generally.

2. What is Children’s Hospital Colorado’s position on the ACA? 

  • The ACA is far from perfect, and there are significant elements of the law that could and should be improved. However, Congress should not repeal the ACA until a clearly identified and carefully considered replacement is ready that protects the health and lives of Colorado kids and families.
  • The ACA was not primarily a child-focused law, but it does include a number of important provisions intended to make children’s healthcare more age-appropriate, affordable, accessible and timely (see below for a detailed list).
  • As the future of the ACA is considered, it is important that children do not lose the protections and coverage provided by these current law provisions.

3. What is the estimated impact on kids if the ACA were repealed without a replacement?

In a recent analysis, the Urban Institute found that a repeal of the ACA without replacement would result in more than 100,000 Colorado children losing coverage. This would take Colorado’s uninsured rate for children back to levels not seen since 2008.

4. What elements of the ACA should be preserved to support kids’ health?

At Children’s Colorado, we believe the following components of the ACA should remain:

  • Reforms of the overall private insurance market:
    • No exclusions or increased costs for pre-existing conditions
    • No annual or lifetime benefit caps
    • Preventive services covered without cost sharing
    • Dependent coverage up to age 26
  • Private insurance coverage through the Exchanges (online marketplaces for health insurance)
  • Coverage of pediatric, habilitative services (healthcare services that help a child keep, learn or improve skills and functioning for daily living)
  • Medicaid/Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) maintenance of effort
  • Enhanced federal CHIP matching rate
  • Children’s hospitals’ eligibility for 340B federal drug discounts
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) and other healthcare delivery system reforms that move toward paying providers for quality health outcomes, rather than just the volume of services provided

How can I get involved?

  1. Learn about our position on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and potential Medicaid cuts.
  2. Sign up for Child Health Champions to stay informed, receive regular updates, and get action alerts that make it easy to speak up on behalf of kids.
  3. Contact your legislator and urge them to keep kids top of mind when making health policy decisions.
  4. Email with any additional questions.

Healthier kids through public policy

Public policy decisions can dramatically shape the health of children, for better or worse. That’s why we speak up on their behalf – year after year.

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