Elk Grove Village, IL–(ENEWSPF)–June 9, 2016
“Pediatricians are always eager for innovative solutions from leaders on how to lift families out of poverty. While the American Academy of Pediatrics shares U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) interest in finding a ‘better way’ to fight poverty, the plan unveiled today by the House Republicans’ Task Force on Poverty, Opportunity & Upward Mobility represents an unfortunate, missed opportunity.
“At a time when one in five children lives in poverty in the United States, the Task Force’s plan offers a similar approach to past efforts: cut funding and compromise the integrity of crucial anti-poverty programs. These detrimental proposals are made amid mounting evidence demonstrating the vital role the programs play in preventing millions more children from falling into poverty. The plan also embraces the same flawed framework included in the recent child nutrition reauthorization bill passed by the House Education and the Workforce Committee: turning programs like school meals into block grants, which jeopardize their ability to serve all children in need.
“Poverty is one of the most widespread and persistent health risks facing children, which is why earlier this year the AAP recommended for the first time that pediatricians screen for poverty at check-ups. Pediatricians want to improve the health of every child, and helping families deal with poverty-related issues is essential to achieving that goal. Fortunately, we have realistic solutions that we know will work; unfortunately, those solutions were not part of the ‘better way’ proposal.
“The AAP continues to call for support and expansion of state and federal anti-poverty and safety net programs, health care, quality child care and early education, affordable housing, home visiting programs, and critical nutrition support programs like WIC, SNAP, and the school lunch program. We look forward to working with elected officials to find a better way to fight poverty that protects against its often lifelong health consequences in children.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 64,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.