The number of uninsured children in the U.S. has risen significantly, according to new research from Georgetown University, calling into question why this country does not have universal health care and has not expanded Medicaid to all.
Between 2016 and 2018, the amount of uninsured children rose by more than 400,000 bringing the total number of uninsured children to over 4 million, according to Georgetown University Health Policy Institute Center for Children and Family. The study also found that children in families whose annual income is between $29,435 and $53,325 had the highest rate of uninsured children.
In a developed country that considers itself as being a top leader in this world, why is it that we cannot offer the people of tomorrow basic health protections? It is hypocritical and asinine that we are letting 4 million children down by not allowing them basic health coverage.
There are some ways for children to receive insurance through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance, but not everyone qualifies for these programs. Some states have also not expanded Medicaid to parents or other adults under the Affordable Care Act, which comes with its own problems.
States that have not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act are missing out on $305 billion in federal funding. These states also saw the highest increase in the rate of uninsured children, according to Georgetown University.
Canada, for example, has a universal health care system that covers most health care services, including dental and prescription medications, and is paid for through taxes. While many may balk at the idea of higher taxes, they are offset by the elimination of insurance premiums, deductibles and copays, resulting in overall cost savings.
Rather than cutting the Affordable Care Act and adding more restrictions to Medicaid, coverage should be expanded to everyone. The U.S. should join the rest of the developed countries in having universal health care.