On February 1, 2006 the United States Congress passed the Deficit Reduction Omnibus Reconciliation Act (DRA) of 2006 by a very narrow margin, 216-214. This serves to undermine the right to health of children in this country. DRA slashes funding to Medicaid, the state and federal partnership that provides health coverage for selected categories of people with low incomes. DRA cuts Medicaid funding by $28.3 billion dollars over the next 10 years. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Reports that these cuts will disproportionately harm our nation?s most vulnerable citizens – poor children. The CBO reports that this bill will cut 110,000 people from Medicaid by the year 2015, 60% of them being children.
? All children, including those below the federal poverty line can be charged a copayment on a prescription drug if the drug is not on their state?s preferred drug list.
DRA Violates the Human Rights of America?s Children
The United States ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and agreed to pursue the ideal that all American citizens would have the right to life, and therefore, health. The United States government enacted the DRA, and then days later proposed an additional $13.6 billion in cuts to Medicaid over the next 5 years in the proposed fiscal budget of 2007. The U.S. needs to make a concerted effort to move in the direction of securing health programs and human rights for more of its poor children, not limiting those who qualify for them.