As of Jan. 1, the federal government will fund a historic increase in Medicaid payment rates to at least those of Medicare for immunization administration and primary care services. The two-year increase should improve access to care for children from low-income families and for children with special health care needs.

While the payment increase demonstrates a significant federal commitment to strengthen Medicaid, the program must overcome other threats if it is to remain the largest and most comprehensive source of health care coverage for our nation’s most vulnerable children. Medicaid often is first on the chopping block when federal legislators are looking to reduce spending.

Pediatricians care for more Medicaid patients than other primary care physicians, with an average of 30% of our patients being covered by Medicaid. Therefore, we understand the value of this program in providing a lifeline of support to the 32 million U.S. children who rely...

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