Our friends at Workers’ Comp Insider hosted the Cavalcade of Risk this week, and you can’t help but smile as you read it, since the theme is based around Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. I found Jason Shafrin’s post about state governments providing health insurance to more children to be particularly interesting. This is a topic I’ve written about several times, specifically with regards to Colorado’s efforts to expand access to Medicaid and CHP+. The first sentence of Jason’s article is the most striking: The fact that there are 4.3 million uninsured children in the US who are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program). Obviously, not all states are pushing hard to enroll all (or even most) Medicaid/CHIP eligible children in those programs. And although Colorado received a $13.7 million grant last year thanks to the increased enrollment in the state’s Medicaid program, the expansion of public health insurance programs in Colorado has not been without criticism. Especially in the current economic climate, it’s hard to see how government health insurance programs could afford to insure an additional 4.3 million children. But it’s also hard to see those children continue to be uninsured despite being eligible for public health insurance programs.
Jason’s article is a summary of a study published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and both are well worth reading. Although we still have a long way to go in terms of getting to a point where all children have realistic access to health care, the study found that participation in Medicaid/CHIP rose during the 2008/09 period, and the percentage of children without health insurance dropped during that time. That’s especially heartening given the economic challenges facing the whole country for the past few years.