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1 in 4 children do not have access to basic health care – study

1 in 4 children do not have access to basic health care – study

1 in 4 children do not have access to basic health care – study
November 23
18:15 2016

 

1 in 4 children do not have access to basic health care – study

Published time: 21 Nov, 2016 19:07

Although the number of children in the US who are uninsured is at an all-time low, a quarter of children under the age of 18 “still experience severe barriers actually getting access to appropriate health care,” according to a new study.

More than 20 million of America’s 73 million children face substantive difficulties in accessing health care, whether they are uninsured, are insured but do not receive primary care, or are publicly insured but cannot access “essential or timely speciality care,”according to a study released by the Children’s Health Fund (CHF).

These health needs fall short even though the likes of Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and the Affordable Care Act have lowered the number of uninsured children to about 3.3 million in 2015, down from about 10 million in the late 1990s, according to the National Health Interview Survey.

More than 80 percent of insured children still do not receive optimal care, CHF reported in the study. Including the 3.3 million children who are uninsured, there are 10.3 million children who do not have “adequate” access to primary health care and 6.7 million children on Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program who do have access to primary care but do not have receive decent speciality care.

“While children’s health care has experienced increased and significant attention in recent years, our analyses show there is still a long way to go before we can claim that all U.S. children have access to the care they need,” said Dr. Irwin Redlener, co-founder and president of Children’s Health Fund and co-author of the study. “There has been a persistent misconception that simply providing health insurance is the same as assuring effective access to appropriate health care. It isn’t.”

The study’s findings were based on census data, medical journals, and federal reports, as well as the CHFs network of support programs.

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