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!

Kids & Families

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  • KidsWell Partners Comment on Children’s Access to Care

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    CDF, CA: KidsWell Partners commented on the lack of doctors who are willing to treat Medi-Cal enrollees for an article in the California Health Report. Alison Buist, director of healthy policy for the Children’s Defense Fund, stated, “[i]f you look at the numbers, it’s hard to see [that access is] not a problem.” The article also discussed the difficultly in teasing out the impact of transitioning patients from the Healthy Families program to Medi-cal. Kristen Golden Testa, director of the California health program for The Children’s Partnership, stated, “[w]e’re not anywhere where we know if there is an impact with a reduced private network with this population.”

  • 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. 

  • CDF Comments on Child Health Insurance Uninsured Rates in 2013 Census Data

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    CDF: The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) issued a press release on U.S. Census Bureau data which shows no decrease in the rate of uninsured children.  Marian Wright Edelman, president for CDF stated, "We must redouble our efforts to ensure all children have access to quality affordable health coverage.”

  • 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.

  • CDF Examines Children’s Well-Being in 2014 Report

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    CDF: The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) published The State of America's Children® 201 report, providing an overview of the well-being of America’s children across factors including poverty, family structure, nutrition and health.  The children’s health section highlights Medicaid/CHIP coverage, the rate of uninsured children, and racial disparities in coverage. 

     

  • KidsWell Grantees Release Issue Brief on Pediatric Network Adequacy

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    KidsWell PartnersFirst Focus, Georgetown Center for Children and Families (CCF), and the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) joined other national organizations to release an issue brief on ensuring adequate provider networks for children.  The brief, written by Children Now’s Michael Odeh, highlights the need for and development of robust pediatric provider networks.
  • 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.
  • CDF Released a Video Celebrating their 40th Anniversary!

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    CDF: Let’s Celebrate! The Children’s Defense Fund released a video in celebration of their 40th anniversary. The video highlights CDF’s Champions Changing the Odds for Children campaign.
  • 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.
  • Budget Concerns? CDF Released an Analysis on President Obama's Budget Proposal

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    CDF: The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) released an analysis on how President Barack Obama’s proposed FY 2014 budget would affect children and families. In regard to the health coverage for children, the proposed budget continues funding for implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and protects Medicaid from transitioning into block grants. Together, these will provide access to health coverage for 95% of all children and provide coverage to millions of low income parents. The President’s budget would also require the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to return unspent funds to the Treasury and decrease funding for School Based Health Centers and Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education programs.  CDF concludes that the President’s budget invests in children and protects children and families from budget cuts.
  • 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.
  • CDF Submits Comments to HHS on Coverage for Former Foster Children

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    CDF: The Children’s Defense Fund released comments on the Medicaid coverage provision for former foster care children in the proposed rules. CDF strongly urges HHS "to reverse the interpretation in the proposed regulations that states will only be required to enroll eligible former foster youth in Medicaid to age 26 if they remain living in the state where they were in foster care."
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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