(Patch) Efforts at the federal level — including an unsuccessful attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act — have likely contributed to people being unaware of public health insurance options or have deterred them from taking advantage, leading to an increase in the number of uninsured children in the United States for the first time in nearly 10 years, according to a new study from the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute.
The study, which uses newly available data from the United States Census Bureau, found that about 3.9 million children under the age of 19 were uninsured in 2017, a figure that increased by 276,000 since 2016. No state had statistically significant progress on children’s coverage except for the District of Columbia, leading researchers to conclude that “even states with the best intentions were unable to withstand strong national currents to protect children from losing health coverage.”
Nationwide, the study said that the rate of uninsured children increased from a historic low of 4.7 percent in 2016 to 5 percent in 2017. According to the study, 12 states had an uninsured rate that was much higher than the national average and nine states had statistically significant increases in the rate of uninsured children in 2017.
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