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The list of accusers against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh continues to swell. Also on the Tuesday rundown: Hurricane Florence SNAPs North Carolina to attention on the importance of food benefits; plus a new report says young parents need better supports.

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Nevada Makes Biggest Jump in U.S. for Reaching Uninsured Kids

Expanded Medicaid coverage and outreach, like this Step Up for Kids event in Las Vegas, are a critical reason why Nevada saw the biggest jump in the nation in a new report for providing access to uninsured kids. Courtesy: Nevada Institute for Children's Research and Policy at UNLV.
Expanded Medicaid coverage and outreach, like this Step Up for Kids event in Las Vegas, are a critical reason why Nevada saw the biggest jump in the nation in a new report for providing access to uninsured kids. Courtesy: Nevada Institute for Children's Research and Policy at UNLV.
October 29, 2015

LAS VEGAS – Nevada made more progress than any other state in the U.S. in a new report that documents each state's track record when it comes to dropping its population of uninsured children.

Nevada's statewide legal services advocacy coordinator Jon Sasser says Medicaid expansion was the biggest factor driving the Silver State's progress in reaching more kids with health insurance coverage.

"Gov. Sandoval, to his credit, was the first Republican governor in the United States to adopt Medicaid expansion," says Sasser. "States that brought adults into the system brought children with them at a much higher rate than states that did not."

Nevada still has a long way to go. The report from the Georgetown Center for Children and Families ranks Nevada 48th in the nation for percentage of uninsured children. The good news is the state saw the biggest improvement in 2015, with a drop of nearly 35 percent in the number of uninsured kids.

Denise Tanata Ashby, executive director with the Children's Advocacy Alliance in Las Vegas, says plenty of good things happen when tens of thousands of children gain access to coverage.

"As kids have health insurance, they're more likely to see a doctor on a regular basis and get preventive care," she says. "Not only does it save the state and families money in the long run, but it also makes sure that these kids are healthy and active."

Sasser says it's worth noting just how many kids Nevada was able to reach out to over the past year.

"In terms of numbers of children, in 2013 we had 98,509 children uninsured, and within just one year we dropped that to 63,000," he says. "So we're very happy about this progress."

The report also notes that children in rural areas, raised in Hispanic families, and those on the edge of poverty are the most likely to be uninsured.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NV