First Focus

First Focus is a bipartisan advocacy organization that is committed to making children and families a priority in federal policy and budget decisions. Children's health, education, early childhood, family economics, child welfare, immigration, and child safety are the core issue areas around which First Focus is working to promote bipartisan policy solutions. First Focus’ health work includes ensuring that all children, especially low-income children, have access to affordable, accessible, and reliable coverage. See below for more information about First Focus’ recent activities, accomplishments, and advocacy work and tools!

  • Fix That Glitch! First Focus Issued a Press Release on the Family Glitch in the IRS' Minimum Essential Coverage Final Rule

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    First Focus: First Focus issued a press release on IRS’ Minimum Essential Coverage final rule noting the regulation neglects to address the family glitch issue. In addition, President Bruce Lesley was quoted in the New York Times and Politico Pro (available through private subscription only) stating that the final rule increases the need to make CHIP permanent.
  • Get the Fiscal Cliff Facts! First Focus Published a Fact Sheet on How Children and Families will be Impacted by the Fiscal Cliff Deal

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    First Focus: First Focus released a fact sheet providing details as to how children and families will be affected by the fiscal cliff deal. In addition, First Focus published an ad in Politico calling on Congress to protect critical investments in budget negotiations. 
  • Hey, Techy Advocates! Check Out First Focus and Children's Partnership's Brief on Using Information Technology to Identify and Track Young Adults in Foster Care

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    First Focus and CA: First Focus, in collaboration with their State Policy Advocacy and Reform Center (SPARC) partners, and the Children’s Partnership published a brief on investing in IT systems that enable electronic information exchanges for helping to identify and track young adults in foster care. In addition, a webinar was held on January 31st to provide an overview and to discuss the brief. 
  • First Focus Released an Analysis on Three Economic Indicators of the US Children's Economic Well-Being

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    First Focus: First Focus released an analysis, in collaboration with the Urban Institute, assessing three economic indicators of the nation’s children’s economic well-being. The report found that although there are some early signs of improvement, the U.S. child poverty rate remains high with nearly one-fourth of all children living in poverty.  The report was also highlighted in a number of media outlets including, The Times-Picayune and a New York radio station.
  • ACY and First Focus Published an Op-ed on How the Fiscal Cliff May Impact Children

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    Rebecca Wagner, Executive Director of ACY, and Bruce Lesley, President of First Focus Campaign for Children, published an op-ed in the Baltimore Sun discussing how the fiscal cliff could hurt child welfare. 
  • National KidsWell Partners Sent a Letter to Congress Advocating Against Cuts to Medicaid

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    First Focus, in collaboration with various organizations including the Children’s Defense Fund and MomsRising, sent a letter to Congress urging them to prevent cuts to Medicaid or change the structure of the program as part of the deficit reduction agreement.
  • First Focus Hosted a Webinar on the Fiscal Cliff

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    First Focus: First Focus held a webinar discussing the fiscal cliff and how potential budget cuts could threaten children and their access to needed programs. 
  • KidsWell Partners Issued Brief on Defining Essential Health Benefits for Children

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    CA: Mike Odeh, of Children Now, in collaboration with First Focus, Georgetown Center for Children and Families, The Children’s Defense Fund, Children’s Hospital Association, and Family Voices, released an issue brief on defining Essential Health Benefits for children.
  • First Focus Released a Poll Demonstrating Bipartisan Support of Federal Investments in America's Children, including Protecting Children's Health

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    First Focus: The First Focus Campaign for Children released a poll that showed substantial bipartisan support for a number of federal investments in America’s children including: reducing child poverty, protecting children’s health, enacting the DREAM Act, and creating a bipartisan children’s commission. 
  • National and State KidsWell Partners Released Reports Examining Children's Health Care Coverage Needs

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    First Focus released its final report compiling 13 publications examining children’s needs in the Southwest states of the U.S. The Center for Public Policy Priorities (TX) and Children Now (CA) helped in developing one of the publications focusing on prospects for continued progress for children’s coverage.
  • First Focus Released a Report Providing a Snapshot of the State of Children in the United States

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    First Focus: First Focus and Save the Children released a report that provides a snapshot of the state of children in the U.S. The report assigned national grades in five key domains of a child’s life, including Health and Safety, which received a C+. In addition, First Focus recognized 100 Members of Congress for their efforts to protect, improve, and support policies that advance the well-being of children during the 112th Congress (2011-2012).
  • First Focus Drafted Comments to HHS in Response to Interim Final Rule and Encouraged Agency to Withdraw Amendment Prohibiting DACA Eligible Youth from Coverage in PCIP as Well as Through Exchanges

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    First Focus: First focus also drafted comments to HHS in response to the interim final rule and encouraged the agency to withdraw the amendment that prohibits DACA eligible youth from accessing coverage in the PCIP, as well as through Exchanges.
  • KidsWell Texas Partners Hosted a Conversation on Twitter Following the Presidential and Vice Presidential Debates

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    TX: Texans Care for Children, in partnership with First Focus and MomsRising, hosted a conversation on Twitter (#Kids2012) following the October presidential and vice presidential debates. Texas Care for Children also encouraged Texans to “speak up” for children on social media websites, the Texas Care for Children Blog, and in candidate forums.
  • First Focus was featured in the Washington Post Noting Debate's Lack of Attention to Children in Poverty

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    First Focus: First Focus was highlighted in the Washington Post noting that during the October 3rd presidential debate neither candidate discussed what they would do about the millions of children who are in poverty.
  • First Focus Issued a Press Release and Blogged About the Findings of its Campaign for Children

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    First Focus: First Focus issued a press release and published a blog post in the Huffington Post Politics Blog announcing findings of its Campaign for Children Survey that found 82% of voters will consider a candidate’s position on federal budget issues affecting children when casting their ballots in November; 40% of those voters will consider this to a significant degree.  
  • First Focus Recommended A Family Benefiting from Medicaid for a CNN Story

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    First Focus recommended a family benefiting from the Medicaid program for a story published by CNN. In addition, First Focus and Save the Children issued an invitation for the launch of a new report on October 10th that will provide a snapshot of the state of children in the U.S. and highlight unmet children’s needs.
  • First Focus Blogged and was Quoted Arguing Against the House Budget Committee Chairman's Proposal to Block Grant the Medicaid Program

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    First Focus: Bruce Lesley, President of First Focus, published a post in the Huffington Post Politics Blog and was quoted in a Bloomberg Business Week article arguing against House Budget Committee Chairman and Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan's proposal to block grant the Medicaid program.
  • First Focus Blogged about Opposition to VP Candidate Paul Ryan's Proposal to Cut Health Coverage

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    First Focus: Bruce Lesley published a blog post highlighting Americans’ opposition to the Federal House Budget Committee Chairman and Vice President Candidate Paul Ryan’s proposal to significantly cut coverage for millions of U.S. children, seniors and individuals with disabilities. First Focus also released a fact sheet highlighting the U.S. House of Representatives' vote to sequester child-related federally funded programs which would cut these initiatives by more than $6.5 billion.
  • First Focus Report Highlights the State of Children's Health in the Southwest

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    First Focus: First Focus released a report highlighting that, in the Southwest region of the U.S., minority children accounted for nearly all the growth in the child population and that children in the Southwest have higher levels of poverty, lower incomes, and lower rates of health insurance coverage than children in the U.S. as a whole. The New York Times also published an editorial on the 2012 presidential campaign referencing First Focus's report as an indicator that Southwest states have taken little action to deal with health, nutrition and education programs.  
  • KidsWell National Partners Submitted Comments to President Barack Obama on the Proposed Tax Credit Rules

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    First Focus: First Focus, along with 74 national and state advocacy organizations, submitted comments to President Barack Obama in response to the Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit Proposed Rule issued by the U.S. Treasury Department in May 2012 focusing on a provision that would base cost assessments for coverage on insuring only the employee, rather than estimating costs for family coverage. In addition, Bruce Lesley, Present of First Focus, was quoted in a New York Time’s article stating concerns regarding the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) proposed rule on affordability of family coverage. 

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