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Health Health System Reform

Investing in a Healthy Future for All Americans

United States | 2006 - 2015

Although progress is being made, much work still needs to be done before all Americans—adults and children alike—will be able access quality and affordable health care.

To support reform efforts, and to help create a system that puts people and their health needs at the center, Atlantic made grants totaling nearly $200 million over 14 years. Our work included:

  • helping win passage of the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) with a major investment in a grassroots campaign that successfully made the case for health care reform
  • supporting groups that enrolled children and young adults in health insurance plans, enabling them to get routine and preventative care—factors key to maintaining good health and being able to succeed in school and life
  • ensuring that the ACA lives up to its promise by supporting its ongoing implementation and defending it from attacks
  • investing in creating policies that put patients first and that create incentives to deliver health care more efficiently, boost quality and lower costs.
Watch: KidsWell, a national advocacy campaign, aimed to improve health outcomes for children through enhanced access to care.

What We Learned From This Work

  1. Atlantic made two key decisions that helped contribute to eventual passage of the Affordable Care Act: (1) agreeing to make a sizable investment—$27 million—in Health Care for America Now (HCAN), the group that led the grassroots campaign for health care reform; (2) funding HCAN as early as 2008 to provide sufficient time build a solid infrastructure for its advocacy campaign.

  2. Legislative victory is not the goal. Funders need to stay engaged through the implementation process and invest in advocacy to ensure sound policy is put in place that represents the experiences and voices of the people it is trying to benefit.

  3. Coalitions and resource hubs need a wide range of tools to help them advance positive change. Funders can play a major role in ensuring that grantees within the same state are working together and strengthening each other.

No Americans Should Be Left Uncovered

In pursuit of health coverage for all Americans, here is some of what Atlantic and its grantees achieved:

Prevailing in Court

In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the majority of the ACA against a constitutional challenge and prior to the ruling Atlantic grantees filed a number of influential amicus briefs.

States Get the Message

Atlantic’s investment of $42.8 million for a “KidsWell” campaign contributed to states stepping up efforts to enroll low-income parents in health coverage made possible by passage of the ACA.

From Resistance to Victories

Several states that seemed intractably opposed to expanding Medicaid to make affordable coverage available to low-income individual reversed course thanks to ongoing advocacy efforts that Atlantic supported.

Summaries of Case Studies, Evaluations & Reports

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