Children Must not be Casualties of Compromise: A Critical Week for Health Care Reform

This week is probably the most critical week in the Senate for Federal Health Reform. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is requesting your support for Senator Brown’s Amendment about Medicaid payment reform which would accomplish many of the goals of our Social-Emotional Health Committee. Please see the note below from AAP about the Amendment and how you can contact Senators Levin and Stabenow.         

In the next few days, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) will highlight an important amendment to the United States Senate’s health reform bill, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act .

While there has been much attention in the health reform debate devoted to improving payment rates for Medicare services, the adequacy of payments offered under Medicaid has been a far less frequent subject of discussion.

Senator Brown’s amendment will improve payments for pediatric services under Medicaid. His amendment will require Medicaid to reimburse physicians for Evaluation and Management services for children at rates that are no less than what Medicare would pay for the same service. This is a significant step forward in addressing Medicaid payment reform within the Senate’s health reform legislation.

The United States House of Representatives has included a similar proposal in its health reform bill, and if Senator Brown’s amendment is accepted, the conference committee is more likely to include federal funding to improve Medicaid payment.

While the American Academy of Pediatrics has not endorsed any piece of health reform legislation to date, AAP supports Senator Brown’s amendment and all it would do for children and pediatricians.

  • Please cosponsor Senator Sherrod Brown’s amendment on Medicaid payment reform. Today, Medicaid reimburses its providers on average 28 percent less than what Medicare would pay for the exact same service. Pediatricians, on average, receive only 72 percent of what Medicare would pay for the services they provide, which has forced many doctors’ offices to either close their doors or limit the number of Medicaid patients they treat. These payment rates prevent many of our nation’s children, who need health care the most, from receiving much-needed services. We must do better for our children.
  • Senator Sherrod Brown’s amendment provides an essential foundation to ensure that health reform works for children. Medicaid covers one in four children. Sufficient payment is a necessity if children are to access to the health care they need to grow into healthy, successful adults, and this amendment would make significant progress in providing Medicaid children with quality, affordable health care services once they are enrolled in the program. 

Call your senators by dialing the capitol operator at 202-224-3121 or you can visit the “Find Your Senators” box on