US Census: 425,000 More Uninsured Children

Statement by Joan Alker, in response to Current Population Survey data released by the U.S. Census Bureau today showing that the number of uninsured children increased by 425,000, and the uninsured rate increased by 0.6 percentage points to 5.5 percent in 2018.

“Data released by the U.S. Census Bureau today confirm our worst fears. An estimated 425,000 more children were uninsured nationwide in 2018.

“This serious erosion of child health coverage is due in large part to the Trump Administration’s actions that have made health coverage harder to access and have deterred families from enrolling their eligible children in Medicaid and CHIP. The share of children in employer-sponsored insurance remained the same indicating that the strong economy isn’t compensating for children losing Medicaid/CHIP coverage.

“Children hit hardest by coverage losses include Latino children, non-Hispanic White children and children under age six. This is clear evidence that the Administration’s rhetoric targeting immigrant families is harming children, but that’s not the only cause. More red tape, less outreach, and general neglect are contributing to this rise in uninsured children.

“When children don’t have health coverage, their health care needs are less likely to be met. It is especially troubling that young children are losing coverage. A child’s brain develops rapidly in the earliest years of life, building a foundation for future educational and economic success.

“It’s time to renew the bipartisan efforts that resulted in historic reductions in the child uninsured rate in recent years. Prior to the Trump Administration assuming office, reducing the number of uninsured children was a national success story. Unless things change immediately, this progress is at risk – and our children and their families will pay the price.”