Playing Out The Impact Of More Children Being Insured

Jan 18, 2016

A new report out Thursday morning from Georgetown University and the group La Raza has found in 2014, some 300,000 Latino children got health insurance, dropping the uninsured rate to less than 10 percent, thanks in part to healthcare law known as Obamacare.

It turns out getting children on Medicaid — even healthy kids — matters more than you might think. Georgetown’s Sonya Schwartz said it’s a kind of golden ticket.

“It can improve their chances of graduating from high school and college. And improves their health as an adult,” she said. 

Data looking at the long-term benefits of Medicaid has found children are hospitalized less as adults, are more likely to end up in better jobs and pay more in taxes. 

The report also shows that some one million Latino children are eligible for Medicaid coverage, but remain uninsured. Laura Guerra-Cardus with the Children’s Defense Fund in Texas said given the impact, it’s time to scale programs that help get kids enrolled through school.

“Healthcare coverage really has to have a special place in the strategic plan of every school district in the country," she said.

Guerra-Cardus said paperwork confusion and families moving tend to be among the biggest challenges to expanding insurance to kids.