By Matt Ellinwood
Director, Education & Law Project
North Carolina’s children benefit tremendously from Medicaid, a joint state and federal health coverage program that supports children, families, older adults, the disabled and pregnant women, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which has extended additional support to states to provide care to more children. Medicaid and CHIP provide direct and indirect financial support to schools, as well as the improved health outcomes associated with broader access to health coverage lead to improved educational outcomes for students. Children also benefit from the Early Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) program, which provides early and regular medical and dental screenings for all Medicaid recipients under age 21 and provides necessary health care to treat conditions identified through screening examinations.
Recent GOP proposals at the federal level would fundamentally restructure Medicaid, decreasing the federal government’s commitment to states by changing the Medicaid funding structure to either a block grant or per capita cap and limiting CHIP’s reach and effectiveness. This would limit the availability of health care to the state’s most vulnerable residents, including school-aged children.