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Aimee Ossman's picture

When our children are sick, most of us take comfort in knowing the pediatrician is only a phone call away. Yet, too many children face long waits and limited access to the health care they need. If Congress doesn’t step up to protect the programs our kids need, more families will struggle to access care for their children, even those who don’t rely on public programs. Congress will only do the right thing if moms, dads and anyone with a special child in his her life, takes action to SPEAK NOW!

With so much conversation about the “haves” and the “have nots” in our society today, it’s easy to cast children’s access to health care as “other people’s” problems. Here’s why these threats matter to so many of us.

If your child was injured in a car accident, started experiencing seizures or was showing symptoms of diabetes, you would want them to see the best specialist, right? The Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) program is a vitally important federal program that supports the training of more than 40 percent of the nation’s pediatricians and pediatric specialists — more than 5,600 each year. Legislation is being considered by Congress that would continue this program for another five years. The legislation has made it through the House, but still needs to pass the Senate. This program is key to ensuring that the highly trained expert that your child may need tomorrow is being trained today, so it is vital that the Senate takes action this year to preserve the program.

Call your senators today and urge them to pass CHGME reauthorization this year!  Without this program, the supply of trained pediatricians and pediatric specialists will be threatened. It’s a national investment in the health of every child in America.

When we talk about Medicaid and its increasing costs to states and the nation, we often fail to recognize just how many children rely on this state-federal program: one in three children depends on Medicaid for health coverage and one in two child patients in children’s hospitals depend on Medicaid for covering the cost of treatment. Now budget battles are threatening this safety net that children should be able to count on when they need it. As Congress searches for ways to cut the deficit, Medicaid is a potential target for billions in cuts. If the program is slashed, children will have fewer care options.

As parents and caregivers, we are responsible for providing the basic necessities our children need. To ensure our children have the ability to see a pediatric specialist — today and in the future — we need to make our voices heard. Congress will not act unless voters urge them to protect these crucial programs.
At the National Association of Children’s Hospitals (N.A.C.H.), we’ve launched a campaign called “Speak Now for Kids” to preserve children’s access to health care. Our video poignantly illustrates just how vulnerable children are. There are three simple things that everyone who loves a child can do to make a difference:

  • Learn about the issues Congress is considering and how they could impact children. Visit for more information.
  • Act by writing your elected officials. Print a coloring page for your child to decorate and send to N.A.C.H. for delivery to your elected officials.
  • Connect through social media to share your concerns and stay up to date on the latest news.

Please share the video through Facebook and Twitter with your friends and relatives. By joining together, speaking out and educating others, we can protect the valuable programs that care for the health care system’s youngest patients.
To get involved in the Speak Now for Kids campaign, visit, follow our blog With All Our Might, join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @speaknowforkids.

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