Mrs. McCASKILL. Mr. President, a few months ago we completed debate on one of the most significant reforms of American health care in decades. As a result of that work we will see over 30 million Americans who haven't had access to health insurance gain that access. The law that we passed helps all Americans, but especially the most vulnerable, gain access to quality, affordable health insurance. Today I rise to recognize an organization that for 10 years has been similarly working to provide care for our Nation's most vulnerable citizens.
The Association for Community Affiliated Plans, ACAP, is a national trade organization representing 51 community-based health plans in 25 States, together covering over 7 million people. Its nonprofit Safety Net Health Plan members provide health coverage through public insurance programs, primarily Medicaid, Medicare, and the Children's Health Insurance Program, CHIP, delivering desperately needed health services to low-income and vulnerable Americans who would otherwise be uninsured. Coordinating with State and local governments, community groups and health care providers, ACAP plans, by delivering the services made possible by Medicaid, Medicare and CHIP, serve as a safety net for those who fall through the gaps in a system that largely relies on employer-provided or privately purchased coverage.
In 2000, 17 safety net plans, often started by community health centers who were serving uninsured and Medicaid patients, came together to form ACAP. In the ensuing decade ACAP plans have grown from covering 1 million people in 2000 to 7 million today. These plans, like Children's Mercy Family Health Partners in my home State of Missouri, remain deeply rooted in their communities, serving those who need help the most. Over 55,000 of my constituents receive their insurance from Children's Mercy Family Health Partners as they provide a critical safety net that makes a difference in Missouri.
I commend the Association for Community Affiliated Plans and its members for their service to our Nation's underserved populations, as well as congratulate them on their 10th anniversary of supporting the Nation's nonprofit Safety Net Health Plans.