Policy: Shaping a Better and Equitable Health Care System

Advancing Progressive Health Care Policy

Our team of policy experts shapes and influences legislation at the federal and state level to better serve the unique health care needs of underserved communities. Our research and analysis of pressing health care issues are an indispensable tool for lawmakers as they make decisions that will affect the health and well-being of millions of individuals and families across the country.

Model legislation produced by the National Health Law Program serves as a road map for elected officials to translate progressive health policy into law.

Building a Stronger Medicaid Program

Medicaid provides high-quality, affordable health care for more than 75 million low-income individuals in the United States. However, as health care technology and demographics change, the Medicaid program must also adapt to better meet the needs of low-income individuals, families, and historically underserved communities. Relying on real-life experiences, evidence-based research, and consultation with community partners, the policy team at the National Health Law Program develops material to inform law makers and shape public policy decisions.

Expanding Reproductive Rights Through Sound Public Policy

Access to comprehensive reproductive health care remains a challenge for tens of millions of individuals in this country as lawmakers usher in new restrictions on both access to and insurance coverage for abortion and contraception. These restrictions disproportionately burden women, low-income individuals, and communities of color.

The National Health Law Program defends reproductive health rights though litigation, advocacy and policy analysis, expanding access to family planning and abortion, battling religious restrictions, defending Medicaid, and working to ensure that every person has access to the health care they need.

Protecting Children & Adolescent Health

Medicaid provides more than 30 million children with quality health care, including essential medical, vision, hearing and dental screenings and services under the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit. We litigate to ensure that eligible children receive benefits they are legally entitled, provides technical assistance to state and local advocates working to implement EPSDT, and analyzes policies affecting children’s health.

The National Health Law Program is a key defender of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides health coverage to nearly 9 million children from low-income backgrounds and families with incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid, but who cannot afford private health insurance.

Protecting Health Rights of Individuals with Disabilities

Individuals with disabilities face discrimination in the health care system. The National Health Law Program promotes robust enforcement of federal laws prohibiting discrimination, including Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. We advocate for state and federal health care laws and policies that meet needs of individuals with disabilities and promote greater community integration, partnering with state advocates to litigate when necessary. The National Health Law Program works to define and secure home-and-community based services for medically complex conditions, older adults with physical and mental conditions, and those living HIV.

Fighting for Health Equity and Civil Rights

Communities of color, low-income individuals, women, immigrant communities, and other underserved populations experience a number of health care disparities caused by factors such as discrimination, high insurance costs, difficulties accessing linguistically and culturally competent care, access to providers, and myriad legal roadblocks.

Policy Resources