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May 1991

Health Care for Pregnant Women and Young Children

Author Affiliations

From the Center for the Future of Children, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Los Altos, California.

Am J Dis Child. 1991;145(5):572-574. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1991.02160050098026

Inadequacy of family resources to purchase health care is the major reason poor, near-poor, and underserved children and youth do not obtain needed preventive, acute, and chronic health care services.1 Other factors also can significantly limit access to health service, such as distance to facilities, availability of health providers, barriers in the organization and function of the health care system, and the attitudes and behaviors of patients.2,3 However, inadequacy of resources to purchase medical care is the central problem. The child population whose families are unable to afford medical insurance coverage now includes 27 to 28 million infants, children, and youth who are uninsured, partially insured, or enrolled in Medicaid. The number of pregnant women who cannot afford care must also be considered when addressing the health care needs of children. Twenty-seven percent of women between ages 20 and 24 years are without private health insurance, as are

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