Letter to the Editor for May 30, 2019

Congresswoman’s bipartisan bill helps families, children

As a physician in Clark County I saw the rough road for parents of young children with complicated health care needs. Poverty makes this more difficult and increases the barriers to access. Access determines whether a child gets care. Until recently, access has been impossible on a regular basis in Southwest Washington because parents on Medicaid could not cross state lines and had to travel to Seattle for appointments. This fractured care, and parents occasionally worked with 30 different providers. Health care by committee does not work.

The ACE Kids Act, a bipartisan bill introduced by Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, recently removed many of these roadblocks. Herrera Beutler has now given a national voice to the needs of young women and families with young children. The ACE Kids Act is a revolutionary approach to Medicaid-funded health care that allows families to cross state lines to access appropriate services. This bill allows Vancouver children with complex needs travel to Portland to obtain expert care. The bill creates “medical homes” made up of physicians, specialized therapy providers and facilities with specialized expertise and experience. Care is coordinated so issues do not “fall through the cracks,” so testing and therapies are not duplicated but coordinated, and thus children are closely followed by physicians familiar with their history. Google “ACE Kids Act” to learn more. Herrera Beutler vowed to “keep pushing until we remove those roadblocks and allow children to get the treatment they need, and accomplish that goal while saving precious taxpayer dollars.”

She also is fighting to reduce fetal and maternal mortality (during/after) childbirth. On May 25, NPR’s “NewsHour” discussed the maternal mortality rates in Texas and referenced a bill to collect data to understand this problem and its solutions. That was Herrera Beutler’s bipartisan bill.

Brad Jensen, Camas

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