Children's Defense Fund

The Children's Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. The national organization works on behalf of all children to ensure that every child in the U.S. receives health care coverage that is comprehensive, accessible, and affordable. See below for more information about CDF’s recent activities, accomplishments, and advocacy work and tools!

  • CDF Released Videos from the 2012 National Conference Plenary Sessions Focused on Critical Challenges Facing Children

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    CDF: The Children’s Defense Fund released videos from its 2012 National Conference Plenary Sessions on a wide range of critical challenges facing children.
  • CDF Encouraged Individuals to Organize Debate Watching Parties and Share Childhood Photos

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    CDF: The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) encouraged individuals to organize debate watching parties and post childhood pictures on the CDF Be Careful What You Cut Campaign social media website.
  • CDF Released a Factsheet Highlighting National Poverty Data and an Interactive Map of Uninsured Children

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    CDF: The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) released a factsheet highlighting the new national poverty data according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual report. The factsheet reports that children continue to be the poorest age group in the county (22%) and one in five children (1.6 million) in the U.S. were poor in 2011. In addition, CDF released an interactive map based in the U.S. Census Bureau's report listing the number and percentage of uninsurned children in each state.
  • CDF Announced the Be Careful What You Cut Campaign to Advocate Against Tax Cuts

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    CDF: The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) announced the Be Careful What You Cut campaign in response to the U.S. House of Representatives proposal to cut taxes by decreasing the Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit and the American Opportunity Tax Credit. CDF argues that if this federal budget is approved, 900,000 children would become impoverished and another 6.4 million children would fall further into poverty.
  • CDF Hosted National Conference in Cincinnati

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    CDF: The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) hosted a national conference, Pursuing Justice for Children and the Poor with Urgency and Persistence.  The conference provided various sessions and workshops focusing on latest research and best practices, community building models, and community and youth empowerment strategies.  In addition, David Lawrence, Jr. the chair of The Children’s Movement of Florida also spoke at the conference on the history of lessons learned. 

  • KidsWell National and State Partners Urged Congress to Protect CHIPRA Incentive Payments

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    CDF: The Children's Defense Fund (CDF), Florida CHAIN, Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative, Texans Care for Children, and The Children's Movement of Florida submitted a letter urging Congress to protect CHIPRA incentive payments.  

  • The Children's Partnership & National KidsWell Partners Supported CMS Regulations

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    CDF, First Focus, & CA: CDF, First Focus, and The Children's Partnership submitted comments and expressed strong support to CMS on the proposed primary care physicians reimbursement rate regulations.

  • CDF Urged CMS to Include Child Surveys QHP and Exchange Standardized Instruments

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    CDF: The Children's Defense Fund (CDF) drafted comments in response to CMS’s development of a standardized instrument for use in the public reporting of enrollee satisfaction with their Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) and Exchange. CDF urges CMS to include child surveys in the development of these standardized instruments. 

  • CDF Hosted National Conference in Cincinnati

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    The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) will host a national conference on July 22-25, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The conference will provide cutting edge plenary sessions and various workshops focusing on latest research and best practices, community building models, and community and youth empowerment strategies to assist in identifying effective efforts and steps in implementing new programs for children and the poor in 2012. The event will gather 3,000 leading researchers, educators, policymakers, practitioners, faith leaders, and advocates including 1,000 young adult leaders. Registration is open and a copy of the conference overview with workshop descriptions is available here.
  • CDF Submitted Comments to HHS on Interim Final Provisions of Exchange and Medicaid Rules

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    The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the Interim Final Provisions of the Exchange and Medicaid Rules released on March 23 and March 27, 2012. The comments include recommendations on: (1) the bifurcation of the eligibility assessment and determination process between the Exchange and the Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) agency which CDF strongly opposes; (2) developing stronger federal standards to define the Navigator role and to ensure that consumers are adequately informed about options available through the Exchange; and (3) the inclusion of two specific qualifying events for special populations that trigger special enrollment periods.
  • CDF Issued Reactions to ACA Ruling

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    CDF issued a press release featuring eight children’s health and advocacy organizations, including First Focus and the Georgetown Center for Children and Families (CCF), highlighting their reactions to the ruling. 
  • CDF President Presented on Challenges Facing Children

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    Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Founder and President Marina Wright Edelman attended a number of events in California the week of May 28th. One of the featured events was the second annual symposium on the status of children’s health in Santa Clara County (also featured in the San Jose Mercury News). Edelman’s presentation included statistics highlighting challenges facing children, especially children of color, and a call to action for the continued and united fight for a national system of health coverage for children that is “affordable, seamless, and accessible.
  • CDF Signed on to Amicus Brief to Support Medicaid Expansion

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    The Children’s Defense Fund signed on to an amicus brief filed by the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law in support of the ACA's Medicaid expansion provisions. The brief highlights arguments and precedent supporting Medicaid expansion, its benefits, and  federal funds states will receive to support the expansion. 
  • CDF Hosted National ACA Tweetup and Shared Personal Stories

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    CDF hosted a national Tweetup using the hashtag #ACA4YOUandME, published an implementation update on its website, and posted 12 videos on its YouTube page sharing individual stories of how the ACA has helped children access to care.
  • CDF Published Column on ACA Benefits Children Have Received to Date

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    Marian Wright Edelman, President of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), published a Child Watch Column (also featured in the Huffington Post) describing the ACA benefits children have gained before it is fully implemented in 2014. Ms. Edelman urges individuals to speak in support of the ACA and fight back attempts to “weaken it.”
  • CDF Published Article on FY2013 House Budget Resolution Proposal

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    The Children’s Defense Fund published an article on House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s FY 2013 House Budget Resolution proposal. According to the article, about half of the cuts in the proposed budget ($2.5 trillion) are from health care programs, which include developing Medicaid as a block grant, repealing the ACA, and creating a voucher system for Medicare. CDF urges individuals take action to contact state senators and representatives and request that children are made a top priority in the budget discussions.
  • CDF Announced First National Conference in Cincinnati

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    The Children’s Defense Fund  (CDF) announced that it will hold it’s first national conference since 2003 on July 22-25, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The conference will provide cutting edge plenary sessions and various workshops focusing on latest research and best practices, community building models, and community and youth empowerment strategies to assist in identifying effective efforts and steps in implementing new programs for children and the poor in 2012. The event will gather 3,000 leading researchers, educators, policymakers, practitioners, faith leaders, and advocates including 1,000 young adult leaders. Registration is open now  and early rates are available through April 20th.
  • CDF Released Analysis of President Obama's FY2013 Budget Proposal

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    The Children’s Defense Fund released an analysis of President Obama’s FY 2013 Budget Proposal, which outlines critical investments to support healthy child development, while taking steps towards addressing inequities in the U.S. tax code. In addition, President Obama is proposing a mix of spending cuts and revenue increases to replace automatic,  across-the-board spending cuts (“sequestration”) under the Budget Control Act of 2011.  According to CDF's analysis, however, this approach would leave non-defense discretionary programs for children and families vulnerable. The analysis separates the plan's proposed increases and decreases into sections.  Health-related highlights include: (1) $1 billion in new funds for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to administer Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), with $864 million targeted for development systems of the Exchange; (2) rescind $6.7 billion in unspent state funds from the performance pool for CHIP; (3) $265 million increased funding for the Vaccines for Children Program; and (4) $13 million cut in funding for CHIP Outreach and Enrollment Grants.
  • CDF Submitted Comments on HHS' 2011 Essential Health Benefit Bulletin

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    The Children's Defense Fund submitted comments on HHS' December 2011 EHB Bulletin with the following recommendations: (1) to be consistent with the Affordable Care Act, the Secretary should clearly define the essential health benefits for children. The creation of a strong federal floor for all, but particularly for children, would help ensure that all children, regardless of where they live, get the comprehensive health and mental health services they need to survive and thrive; (2) the essential health benefits must take the unique health care needs of children into account, as required by the Affordable Care Act, and guarantee every child access to all medically necessary services; (3) any essential health benefits package must limit the ability of insurers to circumvent the requirement to cover the full range of pediatric services; and (4) there should be a transparent process in place during the states’ selection of a benchmark plan, the Secretary’s approval process, and the updating of benchmark benefits as ACA implementation moves forward.

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