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November 8, 1995

Uninsured ChildrenAn Unintended Consequence of Health Care System Reform Efforts

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics and the Health Policy Program, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver.

JAMA. 1995;274(18):1472-1473. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530180066033

How well does our current health care system care for children? The article by Kogan et al1 in this issue of THE JOURNAL provides information needed to answer this critical question. The article increases our understanding of three key issues related to health care system reform for children: first, the health impact of gaps in insurance coverage for young children; second, the extent of the problem with respect to the number of children affected and the duration of their gap in coverage; and third, the sociodemographic characteristics of children and families most likely to experience gaps in coverage.

Understanding the Health Impact of Gaps in Insurance Coverage  Having a gap in coverage affects access to and quality of needed medical care through two pathways: first, it requires financially strapped families to pay out-of-pocket for services; and second, it makes maintaining a continuous relationship with a primary care physician much

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