It's back to training wheels when it comes to getting children health care coverage.
In just two years, the rate of uninsured
The second-highest number of children without health insurance now live in
That's according to the latest report by the
The report pointed to lags in Medicaid and the
Almost half of
In just two years, 51,000
Nationwide, more than 4 million now lack coverage compared to 3.6 million in 2016.
Despite overall wage increases and the lowest level of unemployment since 1969, one might assume those children moved toward employer-sponsored coverage, but "no statistically significant change in 2017-18 is seen in that regard,"
Related: Migrant children go to
"Should an economic downturn occur, and we know one will eventually, we would expect many more kids to become uninsured," she said.
In 2008, almost one in 10 children nationwide lacked access to health care coverage. But that number improved largely because of the Affordable Care Act that mandated everyone get health insurance or pay a penalty, provided subsidies for middle-income families and expanded Medicaid to more low-income people, leading to increased enrollment for children, among other provisions and protections.
As a result, by 2016, the number of uninsured children dropped by more than half and reached a record low of 4.7%.
The report points to a few key reasons fewer children are enrolling in Medicaid and CHIP including cuts in funding for outreach, delayed funding for CHIP that led to general confusion about eligibility and the hostile environment surrounding immigration policy.
Some of those who saw the greatest losses were Latino and white children and children younger than 6, "which is especially troubling because they need higher levels of preventive and routine care," Alker said.
When families choose not to enroll, their children miss out on more than basic health care.
Research shows that kids covered by Medicaid and CHIP have long-term health and economic gains as adults, such as higher educational attainment and greater earnings.
"If the numbers are ignored,
"There needs to be a lot more public information that tells parents that getting coverage for their children won't put them at risk," she added.
*The proposed public charge rule changes have been temporarily blocked. If they proceed, children's use of Medicaid will not affect a parent's determination of being a public charge."
This story comes from Aspirations Journalism, an initiative of
This story originally published to Heraldtribune.com, and was shared to other
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