Sunday, July 19, 2009

Health Reform Moves On (and includes EPSDT)

All of this reform, the Mobile Crisis Intervention, the "Wraparound" Services, even the universal screening, stems from a quirky little piece of the Medicaid law, passed long ago, that has proven to be a tremendous tool for advocacy on behalf of children.  Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) is the basis of the Rosie D. case, because it established those services as a right of all Medicaid recipients.  So, this is extremely good news from the New England Alliance for Children's Health:

EPSDT Amendment

We recently received the great news that the House Education and Labor Committee passed an amendment that would guarantee children access to Early Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) services the standard benefits package under Medicaid as part of any government-approved, Exchange-participating health plan. This is a priority that NEACH has been supporting throughout the health reform debate, and we are very happy to see that it will be included in the final House bill. 

Two moderate Republicans, Michael Castle (R DE) and Todd Platts (R PA), joined Democrats to approve the amendment by a vote of 31-17. The amendment was introduced by Robert Scott (D VA).  

Thanks to all, especially Representatives Tierney (MA), Courtney (CT) and Shea-Porter (NH) for their support.  This is an extremely solid basis on which to assure that children are not left out of the new health reform.

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