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!

Regulatory Analysis

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  • Advocates Say No to Waiting Periods! First Focus, CCF and California Grantees Sent Comments to HHS on CHIP Waiting Periods in the Proposed Rule

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    First Focus, CCF & CA: First Focus, CCF, and The Children’s Partnership, in collaboration with various other organizations, submitted comments to HHS on the CHIP waiting period provision included in the Medicaid and CHIP proposed rule.


  • How will CMS's Rules Impact Foster Kids? First Focus and CDF Submitted Comments to CMS About Medicaid Coverage for Foster Kids

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    First Focus: First Focus issued draft comments on the proposed regulations for the new former foster children mandatory category. 
  • 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.
  • 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 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 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. 
  • 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.

  • First Focus Issued Press Release Highlighting IRS Announcement on Future ACA Rulemaking

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    First Focus issued a press release highlighting the U.S. Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) announcement that future Affordable Care Act (ACA) rulemaking will address concerns raised by children and family advocates regarding the affordability of employer-sponsored coverage for children and spouses. The First Focus Campaign for Children was among the advocates who submitted a comments letter to the IRS signed by over 100 national and state advocates in response to its proposed rule on affordability. The proposed provision would determine whether an employer-sponsored health plan is affordable for an entire family based on the costs of coverage for the individual employee only, disregarding any additional costs of family coverage.
  • First Focus Submitted Comments to HSS on Provisions of Exchange and Medicaid Rules

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    First Focus 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) streamlining and eliminating duplicative eligibility determinations; (2) requiring timely eligibility determinations; (3) improving transparency; (4) extending performance standards; and (5) promoting the use of presumptive eligibility.    
  • 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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