Washington – Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved the State of Michigan’s five-year Medicaid demonstration waiver to expand coverage to children up to age 21 years and to pregnant women who were served by the Flint water system during the lead contamination period.

In response to the announcement, Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus, a bipartisan children’s advocacy organization, said, “We are pleased to see the timely approval from CMS in response to those most vulnerable who were affected by the Flint water crisis. Those under the 400 percent federal poverty level will have no costs associated with care and those with a higher income can buy in to the program. The State of Michigan owes these children, as well as their parents, the appropriate services to address their medical, social, behavioral, and educational needs.”

“While we applaud CMS for its quick response, we strongly encourage the state to include lawfully present immigrant children and pregnant women in this waiver and to use state-only dollars to cover undocumented immigrant children living in Flint. All children affected by this crisis deserve to get the needed care and services.”


First Focus is a bipartisan advocacy organization dedicated to making children and families a priority in federal policy and budget decisions. For more information, visit www.firstfocus.org.