Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - October 20, 2017 


In focus on our Friday Rundown; the U.S. Senate takes a first step towards passing major tax cuts; holiday help wanted as retail and restaurant job opportunities abound; plus, we report on a website that helps new moms take 12 from work.

Daily Newscasts

Report: More Kids Gaining Health Coverage Under ACA

Funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program, which covers some 90,000 pregnant women and kids in Colorado, could expire on October 1 if Congress does not act. (Pixabay)
Funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program, which covers some 90,000 pregnant women and kids in Colorado, could expire on October 1 if Congress does not act. (Pixabay)
September 26, 2017

DENVER – The number of Colorado kids without health insurance hit an all-time low of four percent last year, according to new analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families.

The center found that between 2013 and 2016, an estimated 51,000 more Colorado kids gained coverage.

Erin Miller with the Colorado Children's Campaign points to the ACA's "welcome mat" effect as a big driver of the gains.

"As the Affordable Care Act went into effect, families started looking at their coverage options, and they realized that their kids were eligible for public health insurance programs," she explains. "So we've really seen great gains in getting kids who are eligible for Medicaid and CHIP covered by those programs."

Nationally, nearly a quarter million more children gained coverage in the past year, according to the report, and some 2 million more kids have insurance after the ACA rollout. The center found the share of children covered by employer-sponsored insurance has remained flat over the past three years.

Joan Alker, the report's author, says progress could be rolled back if Congress cuts Medicaid or does not renew the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, which is set to expire September 30th. She adds having health insurance has broad and long-term positive impacts.

"We know that having coverage is important for children because research shows that these children have better access to needed health services, better educational outcomes, and even better economic and health outcomes as adults," she explains.

Miller underscores what she sees as an urgent need for Congress to renew funding for CHIP, which covers kids and pregnant women who are frequently experiencing time-sensitive health situations.

"They can't experience any sort of gap in coverage," she adds. "We don't want a woman to miss one of her prenatal visits. There are kids with cancer, there are kids on transplant lists, and they need to have continuous coverage. We really need to get this program refinanced."

Since the ACA took effect in 2014, 44 states have seen improved coverage for children, with Colorado among seven states experiencing the biggest gains.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - CO