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!

ACA Implementation

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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • CDF Urged CMS to Include Child Surveys QHP and Exchange Standardized Instruments

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    CDF: The Children's Defense Fund (CDF) drafted comments in response to CMS’s development of a standardized instrument for use in the public reporting of enrollee satisfaction with their Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) and Exchange. CDF urges CMS to include child surveys in the development of these standardized instruments. 

  • CDF Issued Reactions to ACA Ruling

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    CDF issued a press release featuring eight children’s health and advocacy organizations, including First Focus and the Georgetown Center for Children and Families (CCF), highlighting their reactions to the ruling. 
  • CDF Signed on to Amicus Brief to Support Medicaid Expansion

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    The Children’s Defense Fund signed on to an amicus brief filed by the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law in support of the ACA's Medicaid expansion provisions. The brief highlights arguments and precedent supporting Medicaid expansion, its benefits, and  federal funds states will receive to support the expansion. 
  • CDF Hosted National ACA Tweetup and Shared Personal Stories

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    CDF hosted a national Tweetup using the hashtag #ACA4YOUandME, published an implementation update on its website, and posted 12 videos on its YouTube page sharing individual stories of how the ACA has helped children access to care.
  • CDF Published Column on ACA Benefits Children Have Received to Date

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    Marian Wright Edelman, President of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), published a Child Watch Column (also featured in the Huffington Post) describing the ACA benefits children have gained before it is fully implemented in 2014. Ms. Edelman urges individuals to speak in support of the ACA and fight back attempts to “weaken it.”
  • CDF Submitted Comments on HHS' 2011 Essential Health Benefit Bulletin

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    The Children's Defense Fund submitted comments on HHS' December 2011 EHB Bulletin with the following recommendations: (1) to be consistent with the Affordable Care Act, the Secretary should clearly define the essential health benefits for children. The creation of a strong federal floor for all, but particularly for children, would help ensure that all children, regardless of where they live, get the comprehensive health and mental health services they need to survive and thrive; (2) the essential health benefits must take the unique health care needs of children into account, as required by the Affordable Care Act, and guarantee every child access to all medically necessary services; (3) any essential health benefits package must limit the ability of insurers to circumvent the requirement to cover the full range of pediatric services; and (4) there should be a transparent process in place during the states’ selection of a benchmark plan, the Secretary’s approval process, and the updating of benchmark benefits as ACA implementation moves forward.

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