Children's Defense Fund

The Children's Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. The national organization works on behalf of all children to ensure that every child in the U.S. receives health care coverage that is comprehensive, accessible, and affordable. See below for more information about CDF’s recent activities, accomplishments, and advocacy work and tools!

Legislative Advocacy

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  • KidsWell Partners Respond to President’s Budget

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    CDF, MomsRising, NCLR, YI: Children’s Defense Fund issued a press release about President Obama’s 2015 budget proposal. The press release discusses a number of proposed expanded investments that would benefit children and families, including four additional years of funding for CHIP. Other KidsWell partners also weighed in on the President’s budget: MomsRising blogged about the budget, Young Invincibles published a fact sheet, and National Council of La Raza issued a press release.


  • KidsWell Partners Featured in New York Times and Circulate CHIP Sign-on Letter

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    CDF, First Focus, NHeLP: KidsWell partners First Focus and Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) signed onto a letter to the editor featured in The New York Times supporting the extension of CHIP funding. In addition, First Focus, CDF, and the National Health Law Program, along with 10 other national organizations, are circulating a sign-on letter encouraging leadership in Congress to extend CHIP funding. Organizations are encouraged to add their names to the letter by October 13th.

  • CDF Releases Column on Importance of CHIP

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    CDF: Children’s Defense Fund’s weekly Child Watch Column focused on the impact of CHIP on children’s coverage over the last 17 years. The column urges Congress to extend funding for the program and underscores the devastating impact on children’s health if CHIP is not reauthorized. 

  • KidsWell Partners Issue Statements In Support of CHIP Reauthorization Legislation

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    CDF, NHeLP & CA: The Children’s Defense Fund, the National Health Law Program, and The Children’s Partnership each issued statements supporting Senator Jay Rockefeller’s introduction of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Extension Act of 2014.  The legislation seeks to extend CHIP through 2019.
  • CDF Celebrates CHIPRA’s 5th Anniversary with Op-Ed

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    CDF: Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF), published an op-ed in the Huffington Post to celebrate CHIPRA’s 5th anniversary and emphasize the importance of continued program funding.  The op-ed highlights: CHIP’s affordability; its pediatric-centric benefits and provider networks; and the importance of school-based outreach.

  • KidsWell Grantees Submit Comments on Proposed Dental Benefit

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    KidsWell Partners: The Children’s Defense Fund, First Focus, Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, and The Children’s Partnership joined other national advocacy organizations in submitting a letter to CMS in response to the proposed rule addressing the affordability of pediatric dental coverage under the ACA.  The letter supported CMS’ proposal to reduce the cost-sharing limit for stand-alone dental plans (SADPs) for 2015 and beyond, but voiced concern that families who purchase pediatric SADPs may still face affordability barriers.

  • KidsWell Grantees Signed Letter Expressing Support for Year-End Health Extenders Package

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    KW: Four KidsWell grantees—The Children’s Partnership, Children’s Defense Fund, First Focus, and National Council of La Raza—joined other national advocates in signing a letter to the House Committee on Ways and Means in support of including the following programs in any year-end health extenders package: the Qualified Individual program, the Transitional Medical Assistance program, and Express Lane Eligibility.  The letter also called for state incentive payment provisions and quality improvement funding for CHIPRA to be included.
  • Action Alert! CDF Called For Action to Stop the Government Shut Down

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    CDF: The Children’s Defense Fund published a call to action asking individuals to call their U.S. House of Representatives and tell them to “stop the shutdown and prevent and economic meltdown for the sake of our children.” As a result of the shutdown, nearly 9 million infants, children and pregnant women are at risk to loose assistance from nutrition programs and 195 children are unable to access Head Start programs in 5 states. CDF reports for every week the government is shut down, the National Institute of Health (NIH) estimates 30 children (10 who have been diagnosed with cancer) will not be able to begin their clinical trials.
  • CDF Issued Call to Action Against Budget Cuts and Encouraged Congress to Stand Up for Kids

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    CDF: In efforts to continue to promote their Be Careful What You Cut campaign, the Children’s Defense Fund issued a call to action encouraging individuals to contact Congress as ask them to stand up for children.
  • CDF Issued a Call to Action to Tell Congress to Protect Children and the Poor from Budget Cuts

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    CDF: The Children’s Defense Fund issued a call to action to tell members of Congress to “Be Careful What You Cut” and protect children and the poor from budget cuts.
  • CDF Announced the Be Careful What You Cut Campaign to Advocate Against Tax Cuts

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    CDF: The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) announced the Be Careful What You Cut campaign in response to the U.S. House of Representatives proposal to cut taxes by decreasing the Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit and the American Opportunity Tax Credit. CDF argues that if this federal budget is approved, 900,000 children would become impoverished and another 6.4 million children would fall further into poverty.
  • CDF Published Article on FY2013 House Budget Resolution Proposal

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    The Children’s Defense Fund published an article on House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s FY 2013 House Budget Resolution proposal. According to the article, about half of the cuts in the proposed budget ($2.5 trillion) are from health care programs, which include developing Medicaid as a block grant, repealing the ACA, and creating a voucher system for Medicare. CDF urges individuals take action to contact state senators and representatives and request that children are made a top priority in the budget discussions.

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