Number of Uninsured Kids Dropped in Recent Years, Report Finds
The number of uninsured U.S. children dropped from 6.9 million in 2008 to 5.9 million in 2010, according to a report released Tuesday by the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute's Center for Children and Families, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The decline partly was attributed to many states expanding or simplifying their enrollment procedures for Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (Kennedy, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 11/29).
A total of 34 states reported lower rates of uninsured children over the three-year period (Phoenix Business Journal, 11/29). Meanwhile, the percentage of children with private health coverage fell from 64.1% in 2008 to 59.6% in 2010, while the number of children in public plans increased from 30.2% to 36% over the same time period.
The researchers also noted an overall positive trend as the national rate of uninsured residents fell from 9.3% to 8% over the same period. However, the recession was blamed for an increase in the rate of uninsured adults, which rose from 19.3% in 2008 to 21.4% in 2010 (Pecquet, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 11/29).
Joan Alker, co-executive director of CCF, said she believes the federal health reform law will continue to drive improvements in the rate of insured children. However, Alker and other experts warn that increasing enrollment in the various health plans might be difficult to sustain because state and federal lawmakers could continue to cut budgets. "These gains are fragile and could quickly be reversed if state or federal support erodes," Alker said (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 11/29).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.