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Topping the news today: Voters in Oregon will be asked if they want to raise taxes on huge corporations to pay for schools, health care and senior services. Also out West, protestors are rallying against fracking, and Comedian Bill Cosby will stand trial.

Rate of Uninsured Hispanic Children Falls Significantly Under ACA

The number of uninsured Hispanic children dropped significantly, in Texas and across the country, during the first year of the Affordable Care Act. (iStock)

The number of uninsured Hispanic children dropped significantly, in Texas and across the country, during the first year of the Affordable Care Act. (iStock)
January 15, 2016

AUSTIN, Texas - The rate of uninsured Hispanic children has fallen to an historic low during the first year of the Affordable Care Act, according to a new report.

The study by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families and the National Council of La Raza, shows Texas has also made major strides in enrolling Hispanic kids in Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Policy programs. Sonya Schwartz, policy fellow with the Georgetown Center, says the report is good news for an important group of people.

"We know Latino children are the fastest-growing segment of our entire population," says Schwartz. "They're growing from one in four children today, to one in three children by 2050. And Hispanic children will be our nation's future doctors, teachers and workers."

The study reports nationally, the number of uninsured Hispanic children fell by 15 percent from 2013 to 2014, a drop of about 300,000. In Texas, there was a 9 percent decline in the number of uninsured Hispanic kids during the same period.

Dr. Laura Guerra-Cardus, associate director with the Children's Defense Fund of Texas, says while the group briefly celebrated the lower numbers, there is much more work to do.

"The numbers still show that the Hispanic children are disproportionately represented in our number of uninsured children, says Guerra-Cardus. "And unfortunately, Texas continues to have the distinction of having the highest number of uninsured Hispanic children of any other state."

Guerra-Cardus says the positive news is that two-thirds of the uninsured Hispanic children in Texas are currently eligible for Medicaid and CHIP. She says her group plans to step up its efforts to identify and enroll as many of those children as possible.

Mark Richardson, Public News Service - TX