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!

  • NCLR Filed Amicus Brief Supporting Medicaid Expansion

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    National Council of La Raza and First Focus, in addition to a number of other health care reform advocates, filed an amicus brief to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals supporting the Medicaid expansion provisions within the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case in March.
  • First Focus Assisted with Events for ACA Anniversary Week

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    First Focus and Know Your Care are assisting a number of groups organize events for the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) second anniversary week (March 19th-23rd) by offering to help draft editorials and letters to the editor (LTEs), assist with press events and arrange for a U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) surrogate to present at events. The designated days for the anniversary week are: (1) Monday – Seniors Day; (2) Tuesday – Women’s Day (free preventative care and better benefits for women); (3) Wednesday – Young Adults/Children’s Day; (4) Thursday – Medical Loss Ratio, Rate Review, and Small Business Tax Credit day; and (5) Friday – a day for pre-existing coverage and high-risk pools. HHS surrogate scheduling can be arranged by emailing celebrateACA@gmail.com. First Focus is tracking events via Google; to include your event in the Google forum please visit the ACA anniversary event tracking website at bit.ly/celebrateACA or email the spreadsheet to celebrateACA@gmail.com.
  • First Focus Developed Messaging Document to Assist with Advocacy Efforts

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    First Focus developed a proactive messaging document for state advocates to leverage as they discuss both the work they have done and the benefits of the ACA for children. Among several talking points, the resource speaks to “wins under health reform” for children and the benefits of Health Insurance Exchanges as ways to ensure more children gain coverage.
  • First Focus Issued Annual Analysis of Children-Specific Budget Issues

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    First Focus issued its Children’s Budget Campaign, an annual publication that provides analysis on children-specific budget issues in the President’s and congressional budgets. The online companion to the Children’s Budget publication allows users to view dynamic graphs that display how funding has changed over time, compare categories of funding with ease, and download fact sheets about specific programs of interest.
  • First Focus Developed Draft Essential Health Benefit Comments

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    First Focus developed draft EHB comments for advocates to leverage as they craft their response to HHS’ December 2011 bulletin. The comments articulate the following specific recommendations: (1) use Medicaid as the standard for benchmark plans to meet children’s needs; (2) pediatric services must be explicitly defined to reflect the full range of children’s needs and the benchmarks for oral and vision services must be strengthened; (3) develop a standardized definition of pediatric medical necessity to ensure children can access Essential Health Benefits meaningfully and consistently; (4) prohibit insurers from substituting or altering Essential Health Benefits that are offered; (5) establish clear public participation standards for EHB decisions to guarantee diverse consumer involvement; and (6) broadly include state benefit mandates.

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