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Tomorrow begins today.
be careful what you cut
Cutting children’s health from the budget now will cost all of us later.
Alison Buist, Ph.D.
Director of Health
There are 7.2 million uninsured children in America—that's one in ten. Every 70 seconds, a child is born uninsured and each day 1,208 children are born without health coverage. CDF works hard to build support for children’s health and has been instrumental in passing legislation to expand access to comprehensive and affordable health coverage for children, including the landmark health reform bill passed in 2010 that now provides access to health coverage for more than 95 percent of all children. Unfortunately, in most states eligibility for coverage does not automatically translate into enrollment in coverage. About half of the 7.2 million uninsured children are currently eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), but are not enrolled due in large part to bureaucratic barriers. Getting eligible children enrolled remains a challenge and CDF will continue to work hard to ensure every child has the healthy start they need to survive and thrive in life.
Our country has made a historic commitment to covering children through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which together have brought the rate of uninsured children to record lows. But our job is not done. As we prepare for the Affordable Care Act to take full effect in 2014, we’ve joined with our partners in the child health community to renew our commitment to ensuring all children access to health coverage that is affordable, comprehensive and easy to get and to keep. Good health coverage for children and pregnant women relies on the stability and sustainability of Medicaid and CHIP, which together serve as the bedrock of coverage for low-income children, children with complex or chronic medical conditions, and pregnant women. We must build on what is already working for millions of children and their families by keeping Medicaid and CHIP strong. Learn more about our principles to improve and protect health coverage for children.
A new report from the Human Impact Partners (HIP), Family Unity, Family Health highlights the need to protect children’s rights and keep families together during immigration reform to ensure children’s health and America’s future prosperity. The new report demonstrates how family-focused immigration reform would result in better child health while our current immigration policies push families apart and children into illness and poverty. HIP projects that if current polices remain unchanged, 43,000 U.S. citizen children will experience a decline in health status, 100,000 will develop signs of withdrawal, and over 125, 000 will fall into food insufficient households in the next year. Children of undocumented immigrants—the majority of whom are U.S. citizens—will continue to suffer from mental health disorders due to the trauma and fear of deportation, which can lead to costly health consequences in their adult lives. Given that a quarter of our nation’s children have immigrant parents, any long term solution to our immigration system must take into account the best interests of these children. As the debate on immigration reform heats up in Congress, CDF has joined with other child and family advocates in support of some key Principles on Children in Immigration Reform.
This week CDF is proud to be highlighted by the KidsWell Campaign as a “Featured Partner.” KidsWell is a national advocacy campaign focused on successful health reform implementation for children and provides up-to-date, easy-to-understand news and analysis about health reform for children. We are grateful to them for their ongoing support and commitment to increasing access to quality, affordable health coverage for children and families!
Medicaid is a lean, efficient, and popular program that enables children to become healthy, productive, taxpaying members of society. Together, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provided comprehensive and affordable health coverage to more than half of all children in America at some point in 2011. Medicaid alone covered almost 36 million children who otherwise could not afford health coverage. Without Medicaid’s strong protections, coverage guarantee and individualized health and mental health coverage, many children would go uninsured, increasing short and long term costs for states and local communities. However, despite it’s proven efficiency and cost effectiveness, the program continues to get pummeled by lawmakers during budget negotiations. As our nation’s leaders make critical decisions about America’s economic future, Medicaid must remain exempt from cuts or structural changes that would undermine its critical protections. Arm yourself with the facts and stand up for the children it serves with our our Medicaid fact sheet and Medicaid Myths factsheet.
The Kaiser Family Foundation, in conjunction with our friends at the Georgetown Center for Children and Families, have released its annual 50-State Survey findings on Medicaid and CHIP Eligibility and Enrollment Policies. The report found that during 2012, Medicaid and CHIP coverage for low-income children and pregnant women remained strong. This largely reflects the success of the ACA's maintenance-of-effort requirement which prevents states from cutting back eligibility levels and benefits. As states gear up for the debut of health insurance exchanges in 2014, 47 states have seized the opportunity to receive federal funding that will reduce paper work for the state and for families by implementing new technology and 42 states have already begun to develop their online application and renwal systems. Learn more about what your state is doing to improve access to health coverage for children and families!
Want to know more about how Medicaid works for the children in your state? Check out these great state-by-state fact sheets, put together by our friends at the National Association of Children’s Hospitals (N.A.C.H.) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Educate yourself and your community about who the uninsured children are and where they live. Download CDF’s most recent profile of America’s uninsured children.
How many uninsured children are in your state? How many children are enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP? Find out with our new clickable map on uninsured children on a state-by-state basis.