The most recent Census data released today shows that after decades of hard-won progress expanding health coverage to the vast majority of America’s children, we are now sliding perilously backwards. An estimated 4.3 million children were uninsured in 2018—425,000 more children than the previous year. Last year, 5.5 percent of children in America were without health coverage.
Coupled with recent reports showing that in 2018 over 800,000 fewer children were enrolled in CHIP and Medicaid than the year before, today’s data confirms our fears: that the efforts of the Trump administration to undermine these proven health insurance programs has resulted in more children unable to access the care they need to stay happy, healthy and ready to learn. At the same time, the threat of the new public charge rule and the anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies of this administration have almost certainly contributed to this trend, as many immigrant families have likely removed their eligible children—many of them U.S. citizens—from the health coverage they need out of fear of repercussions.
All children in America should have access to health and mental health coverage and care that is comprehensive, affordable and easy to get and keep regardless of income, zip code, place of birth or immigration status. This latest data is yet another proof point that the Trump administration’s relentless assault on children is having real and harmful impacts on the youngest and most vulnerable among us.
We will continue to push for access to quality health coverage for all children, expanded outreach and education to ensure all families know how to access care for their children, and a country that leaves no child behind.