Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a major win for Kentucky kids. While partisan toxicity and legitimate debate around the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will continue, let’s be clear – because the ACA will advance the well-being and health of Kentucky’s children, it will also advance the Commonwealth’s shared prosperity today and tomorrow.
The ACA carries provisions around preventive care and oral health that can have a major impact on tackling some issues that have long-plagued Kentucky’s children, especially those in economic straits. Also, the targeted provisions around school-based health could be a major catalyst in making that highly regarded practice a reality in Kentucky schoolhouses. And, a little discussed aspect of the ACA will allow youth in foster care transitioning to independent living to continue to receive health insurance through Medicaid up until age 26; this will be a significant asset to some of Kentucky’s most vulnerable citizens and help them transition to adulthood in successful and productive ways. The more publicized aspects of ACA such as young persons’ continued coverage on their parents’ insurance until age 26 and the guarantee that young people won’t be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions are common-sense solutions to problems that have confronted us for too long.
The ACA is not a silver bullet for child health, but it is a step forward in ensuring all children have the health care they need to succeed. To continue moving forward after today’s historic ruling, Kentucky leaders must work towards effective implementation of the ACA. They must take lessons learned from Kentucky’s recently implemented managed care system and allow adequate time to implement a new customer-friendly and easy to navigate system.
Our state leaders can create a system that delivers quality care for kids from head to toe. We can accept nothing less.