Decades of hard fought progress to expand access to comprehensive, affordable health and mental health coverage through expansions of Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) brought the rate of uninsured children in America to a historic low. However, our nation shamefully reversed course and the number of uninsured children in America has been steadily increasing since 2016. In 2019, an estimated 5.7 percent of children under age 19 (nearly 4.4 million) were uninsured—an increase of 320,000 more children without health insurance since 2018. Children living in poverty and children of color have worse access to healthcare and worse outcomes than their higher-income, white counterparts. Children with unmet health needs fall behind developmentally and have trouble catching up physically, socially and academically.
All children in America should have access to health and mental health coverage and care that is comprehensive, affordable and easy to get and keep regardless of income, zip code, place of birth or immigration status.
We work to ensure all children in America have access to health and mental health coverage and care that is comprehensive, affordable, child-appropriate, and easy to get and keep regardless of income, zip code, place of birth of immigration status. We must:
- Hold the Line to Ensure Children Do Not Move Backward: Despite historic gains in health coverage for children, Medicaid, CHIP and the ACA continue to face serious attacks. CDF continues to fight to protect and strengthen these critical sources of health coverage for children to ensure children continue to move forward, not backward.
- Finish the Job of Enrolling All Eligible Children in Comprehensive, Affordable Health Coverage: We want to maximize the promise of Medicaid, CHIP and the ACA by ensuring every eligible child is enrolled in affordable health coverage that guarantees all necessary services, is affordable and is easy to get and to keep.
- Advance Innovative Policies and Practices to Improve Children’s Access to Health Coverage and Care: Child-appropriate coverage should be central to all health reform proposals from their inception. We work to develop, organize, and promote innovative policy changes to ensure all children are covered.