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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Health Care for Kids

One more reminder that too many kids do not have adequate health coverage, and the number is rising:

The wise investment of insuring children, by Ronald Brownstein, Commentary, LA Times: ...Until recently, children had been the exception in an otherwise bleak healthcare story of rising costs and declining access. From 1998 through 2004, the number of children without health insurance across the country dropped to 7.9 million, from 11.1 million... That was largely because of the Children's Health Insurance Program, a state-federal partnership created by President Clinton and the Republican Congress in 1997 to subsidize insurance for children in working-poor families.

Through President Bush's first term, the growth in CHIPs (and Medicaid, another state-federal partnership that insures the poorest children) offset a decline in children receiving coverage through their parents at work. But with healthcare costs pressing their budgets, states squeezed services, and the number of children receiving insurance through the government dropped last year. And because employer-based coverage for kids continued to erode, the number of uninsured kids rose again. More than 8.3 million children now lack health insurance.

That number is a stain on the nation. Recently, the Congressional Budget Office calculated that, because of medical inflation, Washington would need to increase CHIPs funding by $13.4 billion over the next five years just to maintain its existing caseload. But in his latest budget, Bush proposed spending only about $6.3 billion. ...

Congress is moving to set a higher standard. House and Senate Democrats have approved budgets providing up to $50 billion in increased CHIPs funding over the next five years. Before Democrats can commit those funds, they must find offsetting revenues or cuts in other programs, a formidable challenge. But if Democrats meet their $50-billion goal, they will provide CHIPs with enough money to cover not only the current caseload but as many as two-thirds of the nation's remaining uninsured children...

Dental care for kids and for lower income households is hardly ever mentioned. How come?

    Posted by on Wednesday, May 2, 2007 at 02:07 AM in Economics, Health Care, Politics | Permalink  TrackBack (1)  Comments (2)

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