Suspension of food, inspection services puts children at risk

Oct. 3, 2013 at 12:13 AM
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ROCHESTER, N.Y., Oct. 2 (UPI) -- The American Academy of Pediatrics president says it's tragic the debate over the implementation of the Affordable Care Act led to the U.S. government shutdown.

Dr. Thomas K. McInerny, a primary care pediatrician in private practice at Panorama Pediatric Group in Rochester, N.Y., for 40 years and professor at the University of Rochester Medical Center and Golisano Children's Hospital, said the shutdown would not impact the launch of the Affordable Care Act's open enrollment period that allows parents, families and children to enroll in health insurance that meets their needs.

Pediatricians are dedicated to helping parents understand the health insurance options available to them and their children as implementation continues, McInerny says.

"Today, our federal government shut down, and millions of children and families face an uncertain future as a result," McInerny says in a statement.

"As long as the government is shut down, no additional federal funds are available for Women, Infants, and Children Food and Nutrition Service, Children's Hospital Graduate Medical Education, research grants, Head Start, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's seasonal influenza program, new clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health and key safety activities at the Food and Drug Administration."

These programs are essential to the health and well-being of our nation's children and families. Any suspension of their services scales back the reach of their impact and puts children and families at risk, McInerny says.

"With nearly 1-in-5 U.S. children living in poverty, today's inaction by Congress significantly harms the most vulnerable families," McInerny adds. "Our children deserve better than this. Pediatricians are dedicated to doing everything we can to urge Congress to prioritize children's needs in the budget."

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