The Washington Post reported concerning news this morning, with an article noting the number of uninsured children rose from 2004 to 2005, the first time since 1998. Here’s an excerpt:
For the first time since 1998, the number of children younger than 18 without health coverage ticked upward last year by 361,000, along with the overall increase in the ranks of the uninsured, according to census figures released last week. Of the nation’s nearly 74 million children, about 8.3 million, or 11.2 percent, lacked coverage in 2005, up from 10.8 percent the year before.
The discouraging development surprised some health experts, who attributed the change to budget crunches that led some states to curtail enrollment of children in government-subsidized plans and steady declines in the number of people who receive health insurance through their jobs.
This health trend only emphasizes the urgent need for incremental, market-based solutions to expand the role of State Children’s Health Insurance Programs (SCHIPs), an idea that Ceasefire has consistently promoted. SCHIPs and Medicaid have been successful so far in covering millions of children who otherwise would be neglected by rapidly rising health care prices. But the fact that millions of children cannot obtain health care should be of concern to all Americans.
As legislative action ramps up again in the nation’s capital, it is time that federal policymakers work together to make sure SCHIPs remain financially feasible for working families across the country.
Click on the link below to hear a podcast from former presidential press secretaries Mike McCurry and Ari Fleischer, in which they discuss their thoughts on how to effectively communicate the benefits of programs like SCHIPs.