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!

Outreach

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  • First Focus Applies CHIP Lessons to ACA Implementation in New Issue Brief

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    First Focus:  First Focus published an issue brief on CHIP outreach, enrollment, and renewal practices to inform ACA implementation. The brief highlights lessons learned regarding: reaching hard-to-reach populations, streamlining eligibility, and limiting churn. 
  • Save the Date! First Focus To Be Featured at Children’s Budget Summit 2014

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    First Focus:  On June 24, 2014, the Children's Budget Summit 2014 in Washington, D.C. will spotlight the release of First Focus’ Children’s Budget 2014, highlighting more than 200 federal investments in children.  More information will be available soon.
  • Happy 5th Anniversary, CHIP! First Focus Celebrates with Op-Ed Template

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    First Focus: In honor of CHIP’s 5th anniversary on February 4, 2014, First Focus designed an op-ed template  to help state partners illustrate CHIP’s success and encourage readers to urge their congressional representatives to prioritize and extend CHIP in 2014.  The template is easily customizable.


  • Spread the Word! First Focus Releases Child Advocacy Op-Ed Template

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    First Focus: First Focus designed an op-ed template to help state partners advocate for CHIP and other children’s program funding in 2014.  The template is easily customizable and data points can be replaced with state-specific numbers.

  • First Focus Published Report on Similarities between CHIP and ACA

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    First Focus: First Focus and Eugene Lewit, a Professor at Stanford University, published a report identifying the similarities between the implementation of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the ACA roll out. "CHIP’s success demonstrates, it takes time, effort and engagement to make things right, but that builds support for the program and momentum for further progress,” said Lewit. In addition, Bruce Leslie, President of First Focus, published an Op-Ed in Politico about the report.

  • First Focus Responds to Exchange Open Enrollment Kick-Off!!

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    First Focus: First Focus published an article celebrating the “open enrollment season” in which they highlight the various outreach efforts and publicity around the new Marketplace options.
  • National KidsWell Partners and U.S. News & World Report Hosted Live Twitter Chat!

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    First Focus & CCF: First Focus, the Urban Institute, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute, and U.S. News & World Report hosted a live Twitter chat to discuss the benefits children and their families will receive under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Topics discussed included how the ACA will: benefit children; impact children with disabilities; impact the cost of care; and help families shop and select a health plan to fit their needs.
  • NAM Published Article on Texas Advocates' Struggles on Urging the Legislature to Expand Medicaid

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    NAM: New America Media published an article discussing challenges facing Texas health care advocates as they work to expand Medicaid, the most significant of which are the Governor and legislature’s opposition. The article notes that because the Texas legislature meets on a bi-yearly schedule (every other year), the discussion on Medicaid expansion will not begin again until 2015. Bruce Lesley of First Focus and Anne Dunkelberg and Eva DeLuna Castro of the Center for Public Policy and Priorities were quoted in the article highlighting the need to continue to work to educate individuals on the benefits of expansion to build support. Ms. Dunkelburg was quoted saying, “I think it’s going to take continued pressure from the vast majority of Texans who favor Medicaid expansion – a higher level of engagement.” 

     

  • Webinar Alert! First Focus Holds Congressional Briefing on Kids and the Federal Budget

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    First Focus: First Focus held a congressional briefing on March 21st focusing on various budget cuts that could jeopardize investment in children’s programs. The briefing was hosted by Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) and featured Jim Burton, Partner with Public Option Strategies, Eugene Steuerle, Senior Fellow with the Urban Institute, and Bruce Lesley, President of First Focus. In addition, First Focus published a side-by-side comparison of the Senate & House Budgets and how they may affect children.

     

     

  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • 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 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 Released Customizable Materials to Support the ACA

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     First Focus released a number of customizable materials for organizations and states to use to support and defend the ACA; held a series of social media posts on Facebook and Twitter titled “Top 10 ACA Wins for Kids”; co-hosted a Twitter chat in collaboration with MomsRising, using the hash tag #InvestInKids featuring Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison and Dr. George Askew, Senior Health Policy Advisor at the Administration for Children and Families at HHS; submitted op-eds to various newspapers; and published a research brief with the Urban Institute and fact sheet highlighting the increased federal investments in children's health and coverage resulting from the ACA.
  • First Focus Assisted with Events for ACA Second Anniversary Week

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    In preparation for the ACA’s anniversary, First Focus and Know Your Care assisted a number of groups in organizing events by offering to help draft editorials and letters to the editor (LTEs), assist with media events and arrange for a U.S. Health and Human Services’ (HHS) surrogate to present at events.

  • First Focus Released Fact Sheets Analyzing President Obama's FY2013 Budget Proposal

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    First Focus released a series of fact sheets providing detailed analysis of President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget proposal. According to the analysis the children’s share of the federal discretionary budget increased by more than 10% compared to FY 2009. In addition, the Children’s Health specific fact sheet highlights the following: (1) concerns related to the proposed “blended” federal matching rates for state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP); (2) a 26% increase to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services  (CMS)  to continue administration of public coverage programs and help fund the development of state-based Health Insurance Exchanges;  and (3) cuts to the CHIP Outreach and Enrollment Grants.  As the budget moves forward, First Focus will continue to urge Congress to maintain its support for children's programs.  
  • First Focus Released an Ad Thanking Members of Congress for Supporting Health Care Reform

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    First Focus released a Champions for Children ad identifying and thanking those Members of Congress that “have made extraordinary efforts to protect and improve the future of America’s next generation.”
  • 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.

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