The Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Maine Developmental Disabilities Council strongly condemn the House repeal of the Affordable Care Act and strongly opposes Senate passage of the new American Health Care Act.

Pediatricians and our partners working in direct service to children with developmental and intellectual disabilities want the public and our representatives to be clear that the AHCA will harm children.

Under this new legislation, children born with rare defects or illnesses may have difficulty finding insurance coverage because of new changes to rules surrounding pre-existing conditions and lifetime caps on insurance policies.

By changing the structure of Medicaid funding to states, health services to poor and disabled children, a significant portion of Maine’s Medicaid population, will be limited.

Schools will lose vital special educational funding made possible through Medicaid, again disproportionately affecting children with disabilities.

Finally, Planned Parenthood provides reproductive health services to many adolescent young women free of charge. These services are critical for the health and well-being of the next generation of young women.

It is shameful in the wealthiest nation on earth that we are unable to come to agree that health care is a human right; to understand we will all be patients at some point; to adequately create consensus around basic levels of care for one another; to remove the huge additional burden of dealing with insurance from families when illness and tragedy strike, and, above all, to provide care for children and the disabled.

Please, Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Angus King: Do not allow the travesty of a bill called the AHCA to become law.

Deborah Hagler, M.D.

vice president, Maine Chapter,

American Academy of Pediatrics

Nancy E. Cronin

executive director, Maine Developmental Disabilities Council