While the recently enacted comprehensive health reform bill will ensure that most children and youth receive timely and comprehensive medical attention, those children covered under Medicaid may be at risk if states’ budget problems continue.
- In 2008, 23 million children received some form of government funded health care and 8 million were uninsured.
- As a result of Congress’s passing of comprehensive health reform, those under the age of 26 can remain on their parent’s health insurance and insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to children with pre-existing medical conditions.
- The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act awarded $149 billion in Medicaid relief. That money is about to run out and children could lose or not be able to get coverage as a result the states’ continuing budget problems.
- Most states budgeted for the 2011 fiscal cycle assuming an FMAP extension would pass Congress. Only 9 states have contingency plans in place if the measure fails. Across the board, massive reductions in state health spending are in line if relief does not reach the states.
- While the Health Care Reform Act does require coverage for basic pediatric services, including oral health, more than half of children enrolled in Medicaid in the U.S. still do not receive dental care.
- Immunizations save money, improve children’s health throughout their lives, and provide substantial economic benefits – The Centers for Disease Control estimates, for every dollar spent on childhood immunizations, between $6 and $30 are saved in direct medical costs from diseases prevented.
- Insuring all children, as well as adults, will improve the economy – The potential economic value to be gained in better health outcomes from continuous coverage for all Americans is estimated to be between $65 and $130 billion each year.
- And because dental care is the single greatest unmet need for health services among children,
- ensure that Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program – the programs that serve low-income children – work better for kids and for providers so that insurance coverage translates into real access to needed care
- expand sealant programs for kids who need them most
- help expand access to optimally fluoridated water
- expand the number of professionals who can provide dental care to low-income children