Press Releases

Contact: First Focus
Phone: 202-657-0670

Over 570 Organizations Call on Lawmakers to Remember Children in Health Reform


WASHINGTON, DC – Today, 572 federal and state based organizations joined together to urge President Obama and Congressional leadership to remember the unique needs of children during efforts regarding national health reform.

The announcement was made at the conclusion of debate over the reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which was signed into law Wednesday by President Obama. The organizations coalesced around a letter spearheaded by First Focus, a bipartisan children’s advocacy organization, as well as the Alliance for Children and Families

“The outpouring of support for these principles should be a reminder to policymakers that addressing the needs of the millions of uninsured children must be paramount in any health reform effort,” said Bruce Lesley, President of First Focus. “With the children’s health bill signed into law, we must now move forward with a plan to ensure that every child, indeed every American has access to affordable health coverage. With the economy worsening, we cannot afford to put health reform off any further. We look forward to working with President Obama and Congressional leadership to craft comprehensive legislation that ensures every child in this nation has the health coverage they need and deserve.”

The letter is signed by 572 groups, including First Focus, the American Academy of Pediatrics, Easter Seals, March of Dimes, YMCA of the USA, and Families USA. The letter was sent today to President Obama, as well as Congressional leadership and committee leaders with jurisdiction over healthcare.

The letter reads, “Children are not just little adults. Their development is complex and their health care needs differ greatly from those of adults. As Congress embarks on health reform, it is important to remember children are not only our most precious national resource, they also represent one-third of the nation’s non-Medicare population. The sad reality is that when it comes to large-scale system reform too often children are an afterthought.”