More Utah Children Have Health Coverage, Study Says
Thursday, October 27, 2016
SALT LAKE CITY – The number of uninsured children in Utah declined by 23 percent over two years, according to a report released today by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families.
In 2013, the state had 85,000 children without health coverage, and that number dropped to 65,000 by 2015.
April Young Bennett, communications director for Voices for Utah Children, says the study shows the state is headed in the right direction, but more can be done.
"The Affordable Care Act is working for Utah kids,” she stresses. “We've got more kids that have insurance, and if we were only to expand Medicaid, it would work even better for us."
In the last session, the Utah State Legislature passed a bill partially expanding Medicaid to cover up to 11,000 more residents.
A 2015 bill to expand coverage to 146,000 people was voted down by House members opposed to the Affordable Care Act.
Joan Alker, co-author of the Georgetown report, says despite the intense partisanship around Obamacare, the nation is making steady progress in reducing the number of uninsured children.
"We just did a poll and about half of Americans thought the number of uninsured children was actually increasing,” she points out. “Only 28 percent were aware that the number has actually gone down.
“So this is a success that we've had as a country, it's not well known and it's something we can all feel good about."
The study found that in 2008, 108,000 children in Utah – or nearly 13 percent – lacked coverage.
By 2015, after the Affordable Care Act went into effect, that number had dropped to just over 7 percent.
Bennett says she hopes the data will encourage lawmakers to accept federal Medicaid expansion dollars still on the table.
"And we know that when parents get health insurance, their children are more likely to get insurance,” she states. “We also know that it's important for the whole family to be insured to prevent medical bankruptcy.
“And so we would love to see coverage extended to more people."
get more stories like this via email
This is the last weekend to get involved in a photo competition designed to encourage Montanans to explore the wilderness with their pets. There …
In a new poll, about a quarter of Hispanic students in post-high school education and training programs report feeling discriminated against…
New Yorkers are preparing for an impending government shutdown. State officials are worried about how it could impact the work state agencies have …
Advocates are drawing attention to systemic racism in farming across North Carolina and the nation. The National Farm Worker Ministry is hosting its …
Researchers have found the amount of land affected by saltwater intrusion on the Delmarva Peninsula has dramatically increased in recent years…
This weekend marks the kickoff of National Bullying Prevention Month. Those raising awareness hope schools in South Dakota and elsewhere work toward …
The arrival of fall has farmers transitioning to the harvest season, but what if some gathered their crops with rows of solar panels right alongside …
A new report finds more than half of the sewage facilities in Idaho had pollution violations in 2022. The sixth annual analysis by the Idaho …