care coverage and keep Medicaid
strong. At press time, the bill’s fate
was still uncertain.
The Academy mobilized its full
membership for two days of action in June. This proactive effort
was kicked off with an emergency conference call to AAP chapter,
committee, council and section
leaders, giving them the tools
and latest information necessary
to engage their colleagues and
On both days of action, hundreds of pediatricians called and
emailed their U.S. senators and
sent thousands of tweets using
#KeepKidsCovered and #DontCapMyCare. According to one Senate office, the
phones were “ringing off the hook” with pediatricians calling in. These efforts were coordinated with
other child health organizations as well as pediatric
residency programs across the country.
In addition, more than 100 pediatricians posted
videos sharing the importance of Medicaid to their
patients and urging their senators to oppose any
funding cuts to the program. A video from Elizabeth
Meade, M.D., FAAP, caught the attention of a local
news reporter, which then led to a broadcast segment
on a Washington state television station about the
health care bill and its harms to children.
During the window of Senate-focused advocacy,
nearly 30 op-eds, letters to the editors and blogs
were published by pediatricians, highlighting how
children and families in their state rely on Medicaid
and would be impacted by any efforts to cut or cap
Dr. Stein called pediatricians’ advocacy efforts
“unprecedented.” The Academy’s opposition to the
Senate bill and pediatrician advocacy efforts were
covered extensively by print, online, television and
radio news networks. Pediatricians joined confer-
ence calls and press events with their senators, spoke
with reporters and even invited them to their own
clinics to offer an expert health perspective on the
legislation’s harmful consequences for children and
Initially, the Senate was aiming to vote on its bill
before the week-long Fourth of July recess but decid-
ed to delay the vote. This decision was a testament to
the work of those advocating against the bill and its
policies, including the Academy and pediatricians.
During the recess, the Academy urged its members
to pursue in-state advocacy tactics and to continue to
build on this momentum when lawmakers returned
to Washington. Similarly, the Academy engaged di-
rectly with its chapters in target states.
In conjunction with grassroots mobilization,
the Academy’s presence in the nation’s capital has
been strong through its participation in high-pro-
file events on Capitol Hill aimed at opposing the
Senate health care bill.
The week the bill was unveiled, the Academy
joined the American Academy of Family Physicians,
the American College of Physicians, the American
Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the
American Osteopathic Association and the Amer-
ican Psychiatric Association for a leadership fly-in
to discuss their opposition to the BCRA with key
senators. Dr. Stein spoke on behalf of the orga-
nizations during a press conference with Sens.
Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Maggie Hassan
In addition, Lee Beers, M.D., FAAP, past president of the AAP D.C. Chapter, spoke alongside
several senators at a rally hosted by MomsRising
in front of the U.S. Capitol. During the event, Dr.
Beers shared how Medicaid is a lifeline for her patients and how they would be affected by any funding cuts to the program.
“There is strength in numbers, and amid this
critical moment in the health care debate, pediatricians will continue to use their voices to speak
up for children and families at every opportunity
possible,” she said.
Throughout the health care debate, the Academy
is responding as the leading voice for children and
empowering its members to deliver these messages, whether that means reacting to breaking news,
proactively influencing legislators or weighing in at
strategic legislative moments.
For the latest information on the Academy’s federal advocacy priorities, visit http://federaladvocacy.
aap.org (login required).
AAP responds to Supreme
Court ruling on travel ban
In late June, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will hear arguments in October on President Donald Trump’s travel ban
executive order. Until the ruling is issued, the
court will allow the administration to enforce
specific aspects of the order.
The court stated that the travel ban could
not be imposed on anyone who has a “credible
claim of a bona fide relationship with a person
or entity in the United States,” meaning that
refugees and travelers from Sudan, Syria, Iran,
Libya, Somalia and Yemen will be eligible for
a visa only if they have a parent, spouse, sibling or child in the United States. In addition,
medical students, residents and faculty members from the six affected countries who have
accepted positions at U.S. medical schools and
teaching hospitals will continue to be able to
enter the country as the case is pending.
“The pervasive fear, anxiety and trauma felt
by immigrant communities will impact these
children for years to come,” said AAP President Fernando Stein, M.D., FAAP, in a press
statement. “Denying some of the brightest
minds in medicine the opportunity to serve
patients in our communities will exacerbate
existing pediatric workforce shortages and
only hurt our patients.”
Lee Beers, M.D., FAAP, past president of the AAP D.C.
Chapter, stressed the importance of Medicaid for her
patients during a rally in front of the U.S. Capitol.
Pediatricians from Children’s National Health System
called their senators urging them to protect children’s health care coverage. Pictured from left to
right: Danielle Dooley, M.D., M.Phil., FAAP, Asad Ban-dealy, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP, and ElShadey Bekele, M.D.