Thanks to the GOP-controlled Congress and the draconian policies of the Trump administration, over a quarter of a million American children lost their health insurance coverage this year.
According to a new study from Georgetown’s Health Policy Institute, the uninsured rate for children in the U.S. saw a steady decline under the Obama administration, but has now increased for the first time in a decade:
“Three-quarters of the children who lost coverage between 2016 and 2017 live in states that have not expanded Medicaid coverage to parents and other low-income adults. The uninsured rates for children increased at almost triple the rate in non-expansion states than in states that have expanded Medicaid.
“The share of children without health insurance nationally increased from 4.7 percent in 2016 to 5 percent in 2017. Nine states experienced statistically significant increases in their rate of uninsured children (SD, UT, TX, GA, SC, FL, OH, TN, MA).
Joan Alker, who authored the Georgetown report, noted that the trend under Trump is unacceptable in the richest nation on the face of the planet:
“With an improving economy and low unemployment rate, the fact that our nation is going backwards on children’s health coverage is very troubling.”
But the larger issue, Alker added, is that Republicans and the White House seem so eager to destroy the country’s healthcare system:
“2017 was a year of constant news about the President and Congress wanting to take coverage away — first with the attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act and make drastic cuts to Medicaid.”
Additionally, in 2017 the Republican-controlled Congress allowed funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to lapse at the same time the Trump administration began trying to kill Obamacare by any means at their disposal, Alker told the Los Angeles Times:
“The Trump Administration began efforts to sabotage the ACA’s Marketplace including cuts to advertising, outreach and enrollment funding for navigators — who were playing an important role connecting families with public coverage, with the repeal efforts raising insurer uncertainty and driving up premiums.”
Healthcare was one of the main issues that caused Republicans to lose control of the House of Representatives in the midterm election, but it seems unlikely that Trump and his GOP lackeys will end their efforts to sabotage affordable health insurance in the months ahead.
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