Report: California Children’s Health Improving After ACA Efforts
California has made significant improvements in children's health, in large part because of the state's efforts under the Affordable Care Act, according to a report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert" reports
However, California ranked poorly in other measures, such as children's economic well-being (Walters, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 7/20).
For 2013, the report ranked California:
- 38th in the U.S. for overall well-being;
- 38th for education;
- 42nd for family and community; and
- 49th for children's economic well-being.
Meanwhile, California ranked 14th for children's health in 2013, up from 26th in 2008 (Tucker, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/20).
According to the report, California between 2008 and 2013 made significant improvements in:
- Boosting enrollment in the CalFresh nutritional program;
- Expanding health care access under the ACA; and
- Reinstating the Black Infant Health Program (Abram, Los Angeles Daily News, 7/21).
In addition, the report found that the:
- Child and teen death rate dropped from 24 per 100,000 to 20 per 100,000;
- Percentage of teenagers with substance misuse disorders fell from 8% between 2007 and 2008 to 6% between 2012 and 2013;
- Percentage of low birth weight babies remained unchanged at 6.8% (Annie E. Casey Foundation report, 7/21); and
- Percentage of uninsured children in California fell from 11% in 2008 to 7% in 2013 ("Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 7/20).
Jessica Mindnich, director of research at Children Now, said, "We've taken the lead nationally in children's health." She added, "We're moving in the right direction," noting that California also is expanding health care to undocumented children in the state (San Francisco Chronicle, 7/20).
Meanwhile, Ted Lempert, also of Children Now, in a statement said that some numbers in the report are troubling.
He said that California is "in a better position than most states to invest in kids, but support hasn't kept up with pressures families have felt since the recession" ("Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 7/20).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.