FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A new report by Georgetown’s Center for Children and Families says the number of uninsured children in the United States has increased for the first time in nearly a decade.
In Florida, the uninsured rate went from 288,000 in 2016 to 325,000 in 2017. South Dakota, Utah, Texas and Georgia also saw significant increases.
Nationally, the number of uninsured children increased by an estimated 276,000 to about 3.9 million in 2017. That compares to a historic low in 2016 when 4.7 children were uninsured.
Experts say the newly uninsured children are clustered in states like Texas, Florida and Georgia that did not expand Medicaid. Under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, Florida could have received federal funding to help pay for health coverage for nearly 900,000 people, but the Republican-led Legislature voted against it.
Texas saw its rate of uninsured children jump from 9.8 percent in 2016 to 10.7 percent in 2017 – the highest uninsured rate of any state in the country. One in five uninsured U.S. children live in Texas. – additional reporting by FWBP Staff