Jaime’s ACE Kids Act to improve health care for low-income, medically-complex kids passes U.S. House

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler’s bipartisan initiative to improve care for children with complex medical conditions on Medicaid passed the U.S. House today. Jaime’s initiative, theAdvancing Care for Exceptional Kids Act (ACE Kids Act), was included in a broad Medicaid improvement package called the IMPROVE Act.

Jaime’s been a longtime champion, and one of the original cosponsors, of the ACE Kids ActThis legislation ensures kids with complex medical conditions of families who rely on Medicaid can cross state lines to access often life-saving health care.

“We took an important step today by passing my bill, the ACE Kids Act, that removes barriers families face when trying to get care for their medically-complex children,” Jaime said. “I’ve been in the NICU and met families who were faced with the reality of having a sick child, and also have hit hard times economically. I can put too many faces and names to the reality that little kiddos often can’t get the care they need. With passage of this bill, we are doing right by our kids – regardless of their zip codes, they’ll be able to get specialized medical treatment that can often be life-saving.”

Background:

  • One in 25 children in the U.S. is “medically complex” with diagnoses like cancer, congenital heart disease, Down syndrome, or others that require consistent care and medical expertise. Of the several million medically-complex children, roughly two million rely on Medicaid. Children who have complex medical conditions represent a small percentage of kids in Medicaid, but account for a large portion of the costs.
  • In order to enhance the critical care for these two million children, the ACE Kids Act creates networks anchored by children’s hospitals to help coordinate care. States would choose to opt into this network, allowing families to seamlessly pursue the best doctors and facilities — even if it takes them to another state, which Medicaid often wouldn’t allow. Passage of this bill works to remove that barrier so all kids can receive the treatment they need.