AAP lays out child health priorities for new administration – Health News Today

The transition period between presidential administrations is a critical time to educate
incoming leadership about key policy priorities. For the Academy, this means ensuring
children’s health is at the top of the policy agenda for Joe Biden, who will be sworn
in as the 46th president of the United States on Jan. 20, and Kamala Harris, the first
woman and first Black and Indian American to serve as vice president.

The AAP has released Transition Plan: Advancing Child Health in the Biden-Harris Administration, which outlines policy recommendations to support the nation’s children and their
futures. The plan covers 26 child health issue areas, breaking them down into more
than 140 recommendations for the administration.

“The stakes for children could not be higher right now. The global pandemic continues
to have devastating consequences for children’s physical and mental health, and we
know that children and adolescents of color are being disproportionately affected,”
AAP President Sara “Sally” H. Goza, M.D., FAAP, said in a press release unveiling
the plan.

“Our leaders must advance policies that address health inequities in our communities
and ensure all children can grow up healthy and thrive. The Academy’s transition plan
for the Biden-Harris administration outlines bold policy recommendations crafted with
those goals in mind.”

It is important to note that the recommendations in the transition plan are specific
to the Biden-Harris administration, and the Academy will be engaging with the 117th
Congress to outline its priorities on issues that will require congressional action.

The recommendations build on the Academy’s Blueprint for Children released in October. The Blueprint focuses on how government leaders can support healthy children, secure families and
strong communities, and ensure America’s role as a leading nation for youths. 

Here is a closer look at some of the transition plan’s recommendations.

Healthy children

This section addresses access to care, vaccines, children with special health care
needs, reproductive health, tobacco, mental health and substance use disorders, pediatric
workforce and American Indian/Alaska Native children.

The recommendations outlined in the transition plan seek to address the health crises
facing children and allow every child the opportunity to grow up healthy.

One important aspect of this work includes ensuring children have access to health
care coverage. In 2019, an estimated 4.4 million children did not have health coverage,
an increase of 726,000 since 2016. The Academy is calling on the Biden-Harris administration
to work toward covering all children by facilitating children’s enrollment in health
insurance and rescinding Medicaid waivers that reduce coverage.

Vaccinations also are…