CHIP Has Led to Decrease in Rates of Uninsured Children, New CDC Study Reports
The percentage of uninsured U.S. children decreased by more than 20% between 1997 and 2001, according to a new CDC study, the AP/Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The CDC's annual National Health Interview Survey found that the number of children without health insurance dropped from 13.9% in 1997 to 10.8% in 2001, a decrease that the study attributed to CHIP. Congress established the federal-state program in 1997 to provide health coverage for low-income children who do not qualify for Medicaid. According to state data, about 4.6 million children received health coverage through the program in 2001. "Governors have turned SCHIP into a genuine success story, with healthier children all across America," HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson said. In addition, the study found that the percentage of American adults without health insurance decreased from 15.4% in 1997 to 14.1% in 2001. According to the report, 31.6% of Hispanics did not have health insurance in 2001, compared with 17.3% of blacks and 10.3% of whites. The study also found that the percentage of U.S. seniors who received the flu vaccine, which had increased between 1997 and 1999, dropped to 63% in 2001 from 64.3% in 2000 and 65.7% in 1999. The study attributed the decrease to "delays in making the vaccine available" (Carter, AP/Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/15).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.