The Problem

Despite significant improvements in coverage rates through Medicaid, CHIP, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), approximately 100,000 children in New York still lack essential health coverage. Many children and youth live in underserved areas, leading to unmet health needs, developmental delays, and educational disparities. New York faces the highest rate of preventable pediatric hospitalizations nationwide. Disparities persist among poor and minority children, exacerbating health inequalities.

Our Vision

Every young person in New York deserves comprehensive, affordable, and easily accessible health coverage, regardless of income, location, or background.

The Solution

Children’s Defense Fund-New York focuses on improving health coverage, increasing access to culturally competent care, enhancing outcomes, and eliminating disparities:

  • Coverage for Every Child: Protecting Medicaid and CHIP, funding health insurance navigator services, enhancing school-based enrollment referrals, and providing culturally and linguistically appropriate resources are crucial steps toward universal child coverage.
  • Access to Quality Care: Investing in school-based health centers strategically placed where children spend their days can overcome access challenges. These centers enhance attendance and academic performance and reduce hospitalizations.
  • Improving Health Outcomes: Addressing childhood lead poisoning is imperative. Even low levels of lead in the blood can cause permanent neurological damage. Increased testing, eliminating known sources, and enhanced public awareness are key measures to eradicate this issue.
  • Eliminating Disparities: New York must address racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes. Black infants are twice as likely as white infants to face premature death or low birth weight. Targeted solutions and systemic changes are vital to bridging these gaps and ensuring every child’s well-being.