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!

Medicaid Expansion

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  • First Focus Publishes Analysis of Federal Budget Resolutions

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    First Focus: First Focus published a fact sheet analyzing the budget resolutions released by the House and Senate Budget Committees, focusing on programs that impact children. The House Budget would merge CHIP into Medicaid and repeal Medicaid expansion, which could leave as many as 14 million people without coverage. The Senate Budget offers fewer details but proposes to cut Medicaid by $400 billion.

  • First Focus Publishes Paper on Recession’s Effect on Children

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    First Focus: First Focus and the PolicyLab at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia released a new paper analyzing the effects of the Great Recession on child well-being. The paper, which updates research conducted in 2010, examines child well-being across four areas: health, hunger, housing, and abuse and neglect. The paper found that states expanded CHIP eligibility during the great recession and reduced the amount of uninsured children to 7%, the lowest in decades. However, the paper notes there are still major challenges ahead, including gaps in coverage and the reauthorization of CHIP.

  • CCF to Host State Partner Call on Midterm Election Impact on 2015 Policy Agenda

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    CCF, First Focus: The Georgetown Center on Children and Families (CCF) will discuss the impact of the midterm elections on the 2015 policy agenda on a State Partner call November 18th. Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus, and Edwin Park, vice president of health policy for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, will join CCF’s executive director Joan Alker on the call.

  • First Focus Report Highlights Importance of CHIP for Rural Children

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    First Focus: First Focus released a report showing that children in rural areas rely on Medicaid and CHIP coverage more so than children in urban areas. The report notes that nearly half of all children in rural areas were covered by CHIP in 2012 and that more rural children depend on public coverage than urban children in nearly every state. 

  • 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.” 

     

  • Can Exchanges Work for Kids? First Focus, CCF and CDF Explain it All!

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    First Focus, CCF, and CDF: First Focus, The Georgetown Center for Children and Families and The Children’s Defense Fund released a resource to help advocates educate state officials on how Exchanges can benefit children. The resource reviews seven key components that should be considered for State-based Exchanges, State-partnership Exchanges, and the Federally-facilitated Exchange. The key components reviewed included effective consumer assistance, comprehensive child-specific Essential Health Benefits, transparent Exchange planning and operations, and seamless coverage and care through strong coordination with Medicaid and CHIP.
  • 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. 
  • 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.

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