The American College of Pediatricians (the College) understands that the health and well-being
of children is inextricably tied to the well-being of their families. Unfortunately, the current
proposals for healthcare reform would exact a huge financial toll on families through the
likelihood of increased taxes and increased national debt. The health and well-being of children
is also dependent on having a strong societal moral foundation, so it is of great concern to the
College that the proposed bills support the sanctity of human life and the right of conscience for health care providers.
Increasing the federal government’s control over medical care will diminish parents’ ability to
make decisions that they feel are best for their children. It is also likely that such control will
diminish physicians’ abilities to make – with families – decisions that they feel are best for their
The College supports health care and insurance reforms that are ethical, increase efficiency,
and empower ethical medical decision-making. We support parents having more choices for
medical care and better coverage for their children. We support reforms that allow for
insurance portability, that enhance benefits, and that allow groups to engage in medical
expense sharing plans. For children who do not have financial means to obtain needed medical
care, we believe assistance should be provided by those social entities closest to the person in
need—including the local community, charitable organizations, and state governments.
Children – in order to thrive – need strong families, conscientious health care providers, and
engaged local communities. Healthcare reform as currently proposed may radically and quickly
undermine what is in the best interests of children.