When various Republican presidential candidates present their views on addressing poverty at a January 9 forum in South Carolina, some may seek to align themselves with House Speaker Paul Ryan's proposal to combine funding for numerous safety net programs into what would essentially be a mega-block grant to states. However, Paul Ryan's "Opportunity Grant" proposal carries substantial risk of increasing poverty, rather than reducing it.
At a time when we should be celebrating Medicaid and CHIP successes, serious threats to Medicaid, CHIP and the ACA continue to surface in Congress. So, in addition to advocating for continuing improvements in children's health coverage, we must also play defense to protect the hard-earned gains made for children as well as adults.
In the House and Senate budget proposals for fiscal year 2016, passed with only Republican votes at the end of March, there are big winners and big losers. The big winners are defense spending and contractors and very wealthy people and powerful special interests. The big losers are children, our poorest group in America, and struggling low- and middle-income families.