Change, The Sequel

Joan Alker, Cindy Mann and I started the Center for Children and Families jointly, coming together to do so because we shared a vision of a mission-driven policy organization that could combine the best of research and analysis with strategic thinking and communications to expand and improve health care coverage for America’s children and families. Cindy’s departure to serve as Director of the Center for Medicaid and State Operations doesn’t change our vision, but is a powerful symbol of the promising new environment in which we are operating – an environment in which the leading official overseeing Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program is deeply committed to making these programs work for children, families, seniors and people with disabilities.

Central to our vision is that the most effective way to work on behalf of children is to do so in collaboration with state-based partners who are steeped in the day-to-day work of improving the lives of children, with state officials who run the programs that are the cornerstone of coverage for low-income children in this country, and with the families and grassroots organizations in which they are involved that are working to secure health care coverage.  The ideas and energy that come from this collaborative approach have been, and will continue to be, central to our work at CCF.

And, we’re all going to need those ideas and energy.  In looking ahead, it is clear that we are on the brink of a potentially transformative era in policymaking for children and families.  CCF continues to work intensively with states pushing ahead in taking advantage of the opportunities created by CHIPRA, and, in doing so, getting a jumpstart on the broader health reform efforts that are on the horizon.  Those broader health reform efforts are now front and center in Congress, and much is at stake for children, as my colleague Dawn Horner and I recently have written about in the new CCF report, The Last Piece of the Puzzle: Providing High-Quality, Affordable Health Coverage to All Children through National Health Reform.
We haven’t skipped a beat at CCF when it comes to the work – if anything, we’re accelerating our efforts given all of the opportunities to improve health care coverage that are on the table at the state and federal level – but we will miss Cindy dearly as a friend. CCF is like a close-knit family and we will stay connected no matter how many miles are between us. (But we sure hope Cindy doesn’t ask us to travel to Baltimore too often!)

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