Abuko Estrada Vice President, Medicaid and Child Health Policy

Abuko D. Estrada is Vice President of Medicaid and Child Health Policy. Abuko has over a decade of policy experience at the non-profit, state and federal levels related to Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), as well as Insurance Affordability Programs under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Before joining First Focus on Children, Abuko served as a Health Insurance Specialist in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of Legislation where he provided technical assistance to Congress on legislation and internal review of regulations, reports, and policy documents related to Medicaid, CHIP, and the Basic Health Program (BHP).

In his home state of New Mexico, Abuko had the honor of serving as the state’s Coverage Innovation Officer within the New Mexico Human Services Department. Abuko’s primary work in the role focused on assisting Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s office with developing policy options to improve health care affordability for all New Mexico residents. With his colleagues and support from community advocates, Abuko worked with the New Mexico Legislature on the passage of the law establishing New Mexico’s Health Care Affordability Fund, which provides funding for several initiatives to improve health care coverage affordability within the state.

Before working at the New Mexico Human Services Department, Abuko served as Staff Attorney and eventually Supervising Attorney for the Health Care team at the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty. As an attorney at the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty, Abuko’s work focused on Medicaid and CHIP advocacy, including removing barriers to accessing the programs for New Mexico families and ensuring the programs received adequate state funding. Abuko also provided numerous educational presentations to community members about their rights when applying for and accessing benefits in Medicaid and CHIP. Among Abuko’s accomplishments at the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty, include the successful lobbying of legislation to prohibit the state from terminating an individual’s Medicaid coverage upon incarceration; budgetary language to establish a state pilot for a Medicaid home visiting program for infants and toddlers; working with New Mexico families to advocate for the state to establish a Medicaid Buy-In program (which eventually led to New Mexico’s Health Care Affordability Fund); and preventing implementation of harmful proposals for families enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP.

Abuko Is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico. He earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Wisconsin and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, with a minor in Social Welfare, from the University of New Mexico. Outside of his role at First Focus on Children, Abuko is also a landscape and nature photographer.

Resources by Abuko Estrada

Rationing Health Care to Our Kids: Why Medicaid Block Grants are a Bad Idea for the Nation’s Children

| August 18, 2023 |

Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) together provide comprehensive healthcare coverage to 42.1 million children in the United States. For the 80%

Policy Brief: Why Medicaid Block Grants Are a Bad Idea for The Nation’s Children

| August 18, 2023 |

We should not be rationing health care among our nation’s children. However, the House majority leadership’s budget plan for Medicaid would do just that

Securing the Future of Children’s Health: The Importance of Making CHIP Permanent

| July 26, 2023 |

Access to affordable and comprehensive health care is essential for the well-being and future success of our nation’s children. Established in 1997, the Children’s

Policy Brief: The Harmful Consequences of Work Requirements and Other Obstacles to Services for Children and Families

| April 4, 2023 |

Each year, federal programs provide children with affordable health care, nutritious food, stable housing, and early childhood education. These programs not only lift millions

No, It’s Not an April Fools’ Joke – 7 million Kids Could Lose Their Medicaid Coverage Over the Next Year

| March 31, 2023 |

No child should go a single day without access to health care coverage. Even short gaps in coverage interrupt children’s access to care, which, especially for young children, can impact their health and development into adulthood. Starting tomorrow, April 1st, families around the country will begin to see a process unfold that could result in nearly 7 million children losing their health coverage. No, that is not an April Fools’ joke.