Thursday, January 27, 2022

Play

The Indiana House passes a controversial bill barring schools from teaching about Critical Race Theory; Biden pledges to place a Black woman on the Supreme Court for the first time in its 232-year history.

Play

Justice Stephen Breyer formally announces his retirement, the Dept. of Education will help students who fell behind during the pandemic, and Ariz. lawmakers consider a bill granting them control over elections.

Play

Free COVID tests by mail but some rural Americans need to go the extra mile; farmer storytellers join national campaign to battle corporate consolidation; specialty nurses want more authority; and rare bat gets credit for the mythic margarita.

Texas Ranks Last Among 50 States for Kids With Health Insurance

Play

Tuesday, June 22, 2021   

AUSTIN, Texas -- One million, or 13%, of Texas children went without health insurance in 2019, a significantly higher number than the national average of 6%.

The information comes from the 2021 Kids Count Data Book produced by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and shows the number is even higher for Hispanic children at 17%.

Amy Knop-Narbutis, research and data director of the nonprofit Every Texan, said it's disheartening Texas policymakers are not enacting more common-sense legislation that would support children and families.

"We see that year after year," Knop-Narbutis lamented. "But to me, it's no less shocking to know that we're performing worse than any other state in the nation in terms of children having health-insurance coverage."

Knop-Narbutis noted a more recent point-in-time survey from last March showed even worse numbers, with 23% of all households without health insurance in Texas, including 38% of Hispanic households with children.

Overall, Texas ranked 46th out of 50 states for child well-being. Texas is one of only 12 states to opt out of Medicaid expansion.

Leslie Boissiere, vice president of external affairs for the Foundation, said an expansion is at the top of the list for improving health outcomes for children.

"One of the recommendations is to pass Medicaid expansion in those states that have not passed it already," Boissiere stated. "And we've seen the states who have Medicaid expansion have a significant lower number of children and families who are uninsured."

Knop-Narbutis pointed out the equity gap for Texas families is significant, and may be worse by the next report because Hispanic and Black families lost jobs at higher rates due to COVID-19. While the percentage of kids living in poverty dropped seven points in the new report, she added more purposeful action is needed.

"One in four children that are Black and Hispanic were in poverty," Knop-Narbutis explained. "So although rates were improving, there's still a big equity gap there in terms of who is thriving."

Knop-Narbutis hopes legislation recently approved to reduce unnecessary eligibility checks for Texas children's Medicaid will improve access.

The Kids Count index captures what children need most to thrive, using four domains including: economic well-being, education, health and family and community.

Disclosure: Annie E. Casey Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Education, Juvenile Justice, and Welfare Reform. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Under a new proposal, California employees could use up to three days of paid sick leave to get and recover from a COVID vaccination. (Mangostar/Adobestock)

Social Issues

Parents' rights groups are praising a plan to extend paid sick leave for many California workers, which is now on a fast track to pass. Gov…


Social Issues

Changes to a student-loan program for public-service employees is transforming the lives of Montanans who had their debts forgiven. In October…

Health and Wellness

When the Pueblo Community Health Center opened its 14,000 square-foot facility in 2003, Pueblo's east side, home to mostly minority residents…


By 2035, there are projected to be more than 1.2 million older adults living in Minnesota (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Minnesota is building on efforts to meet the needs of its growing population of older adults, now becoming the 10th state to join AARP's network of …

Social Issues

The past year saw American workers reassessing their jobs. However, those shifts did not result in higher union membership at the national level…

Those calling for permanent universal free school meals say research has linked them to better academic outcomes. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This summer, a key initiative to boost school meal access during the pandemic will expire. In North Dakota, those working at the community level say …

Environment

New research suggests Earth's Sixth Mass Extinction event, on par with the one that ended the age of dinosaurs, already is under way. Noah Greenwald…

Social Issues

As local municipalities consider ways to use an influx of funds from the American Rescue Plan, some communities see it as an opportunity to support …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021