New report confirms U.S. children are losing health coverage at an alarming rate

New report confirms U.S. children are losing health coverage at an alarming rate
January 19, 2019 San Francisco / CA / USA - Participants to the Women's March event carry "Healthcare for all" sign while marching on Market street in downtown San Francisco

new report from the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute is continuing the ringing of the alarm bell on the rising numbers of uninsured children in the U.S. In two years, from 2016 to 2018, the number of uninsured children increased by more than 400,000, the report found.

That brings the total of uninsured children in the country to more than 4 million. The coverage losses were the worst in the 14 states that are still refusing federal aid to expand Medicaid. The uninsured rate in those states both is rising faster and is twice as high as in the rest of America. The majority of them are eligible for Medicaid or for the Children's Health Insurance Program but are not enrolled, the report finds.

"This is a very troubling trend and mainly due to the fact that children are losing Medicaid and CHIP coverage,” said Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. "The decline in health coverage occurred at a time when children should have been gaining coverage in the private market and is a red flag for policymakers as even more children would likely lose coverage in an economic downturn."

The Census Department has found even more alarming numbers, estimating that more than 1 million children have fallen out of coverage from Medicaid or CHIP. Like the Georgetown study, it found that the loss of coverage was most pronounced for white and Latino children of the working poor. Republican states and the Trump administration have been purposely erecting barriers to these families, creating more and more hoops for them to jump through to maintain coverage for themselves and their families. Many undocumented immigrant parents with children who are citizens fear that getting their children covered will target them for deportation.

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