Jaime Herrera Beutler joins colleagues in reintroducing bipartisan ACE Kids Act to help low-income, medically-complex children

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler joined U.S. Representatives Kathy Castor (D-FL), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Diana DeGette (D-CO) in reintroducing H.R. 1226, the bipartisan Advancing Care for Exceptional (ACE) Kids Act, which would help improve the coordination of and access to high quality care to ensure optimal outcomes for children with complex medical conditions on Medicaid.

“I’ve been in the NICU and met parents who were fighting to make sure their medically-complex child received the care needed. Getting this care can be particularly challenging for those families who have hit hard times economically,” Herrera Beutler said. “With this bipartisan legislation, we’re helping families like these access life-saving medical treatment, regardless of their zip code.”

Most children with complex medical conditions receive care from multiple specialized pediatric providers who often are located at different clinics and hospitals. The ACE Kids Act will encourage the creation of more health homes for these children and their families that better coordinate care, save precious time, money and lives. Outside studies have found that, through care coordination, the ACE Kids Act will save families and the government money through a less fragmented and burdensome system of care for children and families.

“I wrote the ACE Kids Act with the simple but important goal of putting children with complex medical conditions and their families first.  My inspiration has been the children served at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital Chronic-Complex Clinic in Tampa, Fla, one of the nation’s premiere health homes for children with complex medical conditions” Castor said. “The tireless advocacy by children and their families – including explaining the importance of coordinated care to many lawmakers – inspires me. Their help is critical to turning the ACE Kids Act into law, and my colleagues and I could not ask for better partners.”

“I am proud to once again join my friend and colleague, U.S. Rep. Castor, to fight on behalf of children with complex medical needs.  This bipartisan bill is very important to families who are served in local children’s hospitals, such as All Children’s Hospital and St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital. The care coordination it provides improves health outcomes and efficiency while offering greater convenience for families – it is a no brainer.  I urge my colleagues to help us expedite passage of this critical legislation,” Bilirakis said.

U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo (CA18), who is also cosponsoring the legislation, said: “Children with complex medical conditions require a multi-pronged level of health services which can be expensive and difficult for families to coordinate.  The ACE Kids Act aims to better coordinate this care while reducing overall Medicaid spending by creating a Medicaid care coordination program.  This legislation is based on existing programs that save money by decreasing hospital visits and improving care.”

“By creating health homes that better coordinate care for children and families through the ACE Kids Act, children with complex medical conditions and their families will truly be put first,” Castor concluded.

The ACE Kids Act has also been introduced in the U.S. Senate by U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Michael Bennet (D-CO).