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Impact of Policy on Children
August 24, 2020

The Uncertain Future of Children’s Health Insurance: New and Ongoing Threats

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of Michigan, Department of Health Management and Policy, Ann Arbor
  • 2University of Utah, Department of Political Science, Salt Lake City
JAMA Pediatr. 2020;174(10):924-925. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.2566

Children’s health in the United States has largely been a success story. Since the adoption of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in 1997, the rate of uninsured children has decreased from 25% to less than 6% nationally.1,2 Improvements to children’s access to health insurance have been further supported by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid expansion. Yet, these successes conceal new and ongoing threats to the future of children’s health. The number of uninsured children has increased since 2016, with more than 4 million children uninsured.2 Partisan conflict, misaligned policies, and persistent racial and ethnic disparities threaten the future of children’s health. The 2020 election represents a potential turning point for strengthening or further crippling children’s access to health care.

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