Iowa has made considerable gains in recent years in reducing the uninsured rate among children—a 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.