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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 7.6 million uninsured children in America—that's one in ten. Every 72 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 7.6 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.
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.