Center offers guiding principles for Iowa's Medicaid program

Medicaid makes a difference — it allows thousands of low-income Iowa children and adults to get and stay healthy. It makes it possible for them to see a doctor when they are sick, get check-ups, buy medications, and go to the hospital without fear of choosing between their health and groceries or paying the rent. It also helps parents make sure they can work and take care of their families.

But Medicaid has become so politicized it's been hard to have a productive conversation on how to fix things. Now the elections are over, and Iowans are asking for solutions. Medicaid is simply too important to be a political football.

The Center last week released a new video and brief to help Iowans understand the issues at play in our Medicaid program. They lay out guiding principles for moving forward and remind us all why it matters that we get it right. Al, our 12-year-old video narrator, adds a personal touch. 

In the coming days and weeks, join us as we roll out our #MedicaidMakesADifference campaign via social media. Iowans need Medicaid to work. It's simply too important. 

Check out the video and brief here.  

New report raises alarm bells on uninsured rates

Iowa has made considerable gains in recent years in reducing the uninsured rate among childrena true policy success story thanks to our Medicaid and hawk-i programs. But a new report from Georgetown University Center for Children and Families is raising alarm bells. 

For the first time in nearly a decade, the number of uninsured children in the United States increased in 2017. An estimated 276,000 more children were uninsured in 2017 than in 2016. Nine states experienced statistically significant increases in their rate of uninsured children in that period.  

Said report coauthor Joan Alker in a recent blog post:

"I've written this report for eight years in a row now, and I found it even more notable that no state, except for the District of Columbia, saw any measurable progress in reducing the number of uninsured children in 2017. Never before have we seen such uniformity in state behavior. This finding underscores that even states with the best of intentions were not able to overcome the negative national currents that are affecting children's health coverage."

Iowa saw a statistically insignificant increase in the share of kids who are uninsured: 0.5 percent. An estimated 24,000 Iowa kids were uninsured in 2017. That ends an eight-year trend of declines and comes only a year after Iowa achieved an historic 2.6 percent uninsured rate in 2016, nearly 2.5 percentage point lower than in 2008. 

Read the Georgetown CCF report here


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