By Kimberley Chin, Programme Executive, Atlantic
State advocates face enormous challenges–shrinking
resources, entrenched politics, an often disinterested press. Yet somehow, we
manage to get it done. Just about
every major federal policy initiative begins and ends at the state. It was the states that conceived of
what became CHIP, launched the first health benefit exchanges with public
subsidies, and expanded Medicaid to cover more working families. Now, with the Affordable Care Act, states are the ones
who are charged with implementation and the ultimate success or failure of
health reform rests in their hands.
It was with this challenge in mind that The Atlantic
Philanthropies funded www.kidswellcampaign.org, which was
launched this week and is powered by Manatt Health Solutions. This website, with
a wealth of information about what is happening in the states, will be a great
resource for child health advocates and everyone working towards full
implementation of health care reform.
With implementation of health reform, advocates have
their work cut out for them.
States must pass enabling legislation, promulgate regulations, and build
new business processes and IT system, all in what in state government time is a
blink of an eye. The website, www.kidswellcampaign.org, is designed to help make this job
just a little bit easier by helping state and national advocates track
implementation and opposition activities and trends within and across states.
Drawing on a growing repository of more than 1,200
records from all fifty states and both public and original sources, the website
offers users the ability to:
- Track specific health reform provisions and children’s
coverage issues state by state;
- Search across multiple states for health reform trends
- Access state profiles providing baseline information on
children’s coverage programs, insurance rates, and key political figures;
- View snapshots of implementation and opposition
- Download weekly newsletters summarizing relevant
- Access reports and other advocacy resources created by
The website focuses on health insurance coverage programs and provisions under the
Affordable Care Act, including Medicaid, the Child Health Insurance Program,
Health Benefit Exchanges, and health insurance regulatory reforms. I hope you’ll check it out and let us
know what you think at [email protected].