This afternoon, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced that the House of Representatives would not put to a vote the American Health Care Act, H.R. 1648, legislation that would have repealed the Affordable Care Act and fundamentally restructured the Medicaid program. This news is a relief for the 37 million children and their families who rely on Medicaid for their health coverage as well as the other vulnerable populations whose care would have been cut if the House bill was approved. In response, First Focus Campaign for Children President Bruce Lesley issued the following statement:

“We applaud those Members of Congress who heeded pleas from constituents across the country and were willing to vote against passage of the AHCA. Their courage in standing up for children among other vulnerable populations of Americans will allow the families of the 37 million children who are insured through Medicaid to sleep easier tonight knowing that their coverage and benefits remain intact.

“At a time when Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) have helped to reduce the rate of uninsured children to the lowest number in American history — with more than 95 percent of children having some form of health insurance — the House has chosen wisely not to advance a bill that would undermine this success.

“If Congress is interested in improving the health and well-being of America’s children, instead of draconian cuts that would end the Medicaid entitlement, we urge Members to protect the programs like Medicaid and CHIP, which have been so successful in keeping our children healthy and on a path to becoming productive adults.

“The AHCA was wrong for children, wrong for families, and wrong for America. Instead of dismantling the programs that are working well to protect and improve health care for millions of Americans, Congress should get back to work and start from the beginning, convening stakeholders, holding hearings, and tackling the real issues that are most important to children and families – ensuring access to high quality, affordable care that meets the needs of every family member.”


The First Focus Campaign for Children is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization affiliated with First Focus, a bipartisan children’s advocacy organization. The Campaign for Children advocates directly for legislative change in Congress to ensure children and families are a priority in federal policy and budget decisions.