New Report: Affordable Care Act Can Improve Families’ Health and Economic Stability

September 18, 2014

Contact: Lori Severens
Ascend at the Aspen Institute
Tel: 202.736.2920

Aspen Institute report is first of its kind to consider Obamacare’s impact on children and their parents together

Washington, DC, September 17, 2014 – The Aspen Institute and the National Academy for State Health Policy released a new report calling the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the accompanying Medicaid expansion a significant opportunity to produce better health and economic stability for children and parents together. The report identifies two-generation opportunities within the law and highlights how they can have a significant positive impact on the lives of low-income families. The ACA’s second open enrollment season begins in two months.

The Affordable Care Act: Affording Two-Generation Approaches to Health, the first comprehensive look at the ACA through a two-generation lens, explores both the possibilities and the gaps in the legislation and outlines its impacts across race, gender, and age. It highlights the openings provided through the ACA and Medicaid expansion to connect a vital health delivery system and economic stability and security.

“The ACA is not only the biggest new lever for expanding access to health care, but those of us in communities committed to two-generation solutions see it as a transformative bridge to help break the intergenerational cycle of poverty,” said Aspen Institute Vice President Anne Mosle. Ruth Katz, executive director for the Aspen Institute Health, Medicine and Society program agreed, saying, “Access to health care is critical in achieving both educational and economic security for low-income children and their parents. The Affordable Care Act is designed to make such access a reality.”

Policy opportunities outlined in the report include:

  • Expanding Medicaid coverage by identifying and enrolling eligible individuals to promote the health and well-being of low-income parents and children;
  • Increasing the focus on education and employment opportunities for parents in home visiting programs, while supporting school readiness and health and well-being in young children;
  • Maximizing opportunities for diagnosis, screening, and treatment of mental health for both parents and children using the new coverage of preventive services; and
  • Promoting linkages between health care and human services systems.

NOTE TO EDITORS: For an advance copy of the full report, embargoed until September 18, 2014, at 12:00 pm (noon), please contact Public briefing will take place at 11:45am at the Aspen Institute in Washington, DC. Livestream link (to start at 12:15pm):

Visit and for more information.

Ascend at the Aspen Institute is the national hub for breakthrough ideas and collaborations that move vulnerable children and their parents toward educational success and economic security. We take a two-generation approach to our work – focusing on children and their parents together. We bring a gender and a racial equity lens to our analysis. For more information, visit

The Aspen Institute Health, Medicine and Society Program is a venue for academic, government and industry leaders to explore critical issues in health care and health policy and how they may affect individual health and that of families, communities, nations and the world. By convening bipartisan, multi-disciplinary forums, the program facilitates the exchange of knowledge and insights among decision-makers and helps to forge networks and other collaborations with the ultimate goal of improving human health. For more information, visit

The National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) is an independent academy of state health policymakers. We are dedicated to helping states achieve excellence in health policy and practice. A non-profit and non-partisan organization, NASHP provides a forum for constructive work across branches and agencies of state government on critical health issues. For more information, visit


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