Outcome could “strangle many federal programs that benefit children” 

In response to the case of Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County, Indiana v. Talevski, to be heard this morning before the U.S. Supreme Court, First Focus on Children President Bruce Lesley issued the following statement:

“Medicaid covers more than half of all U.S. children, providing them with pediatric-specific care critical to their health and well-being, and especially to their early development. If the Court sides with the hospital company in today’s case, it will gut a child’s right to this care, making any claims unenforceable. And though Medicaid is at the center of this case, its tentacles will strangle many federal programs that benefit children, including programs that keep them from going hungry, becoming homeless or experiencing poverty. I cannot overstate the catastrophe that a wrong-headed decision will cause in this case.”

First Focus on Children joined a half-dozen children’s health care providers and advocates who filed an Amicus brief with the Court, one of 25 SCOTUS received.

In our brief, First Focus on Children and our colleagues outlined the history of Medicaid’s Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit, which plays a critical role in detecting and treating developmental issues in children. Children have used the statute being challenged in dozens of lawsuits to claim their right to EPSDT and other benefits. If the Court rules this statute inapplicable, it would render unenforceable children’s right to this and other care.

First Focus on Children is a bipartisan advocacy organization dedicated to making children and families a priority in federal policy and budget decisions.