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.
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.