by Dena K. Hubbard MD, FAAP
As we are all acutely aware, COVID19 is affecting children and families, including pediatricians and Children’s hospitals. We need your voices to make sure children, pediatricians, pediatric clinics and children’s hospitals do not get left out of the relief efforts (much of original legislation left out Medicaid, for example telehealth was paid for by Medicare but NOT Medicaid). There is so much unknown about this virus, and as we see the evolution in children with inflammatory syndrome, we have to ensure pediatrics get the resources they need. The disparities and inequities in healthcare are really being highlighted by COVID19. We have an obligation to be part of the change in healthcare!
Please see the AAP COVID Advocacy Report, AAP Summary of H.R. 6201 Family First Coronavirus Response (WIC, nutrition, Medicaid, telehealth, unemployment insurance, paid parental leave, and COVID testing) and AAP Summary of the CARES Act (health system investments, economic supports, patient protections, vaccine coverage, research and development, healthcare workforce, education, nutrition, Medicaid and other healthcare program extenders, telehealth, child welfare, etc.)
Also, last week the AAP endorsed the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act (H.R. 6788/S. 3599) to provide a long-term solution to the challenges facing our colleagues who are immigrant pediatricians who have been on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is bipartisan legislation that could provide expedited access to permanent residency for physicians on nonimmigrant work visas who have been prevented from adjusting status due to immigration backlogs. The AAP also joined five other physician groups to call for immigration protections for International Medical Graduate physicians during the pandemic. Our pediatric colleagues should be able to continue their service to our patients without fear of the loss of their immigration status, or that of their families.These are issues relevant to all of us and our patients, their families, and our colleagues. Tell your members of Congress to urge HHS to provide needed financial support for pediatricians. Please go to federaladvocacy.aap.org and log in for a quick and easy advocacy action opportunity. It takes less than 2 minutes, but is helpful if you can include a story or something unique to the template