Insurance

Uninsured American children

There are currently 9 million uninsured children in the US. Census data shows that 70% of those children live in a household where at least one parent works full-time. The same data show that about two-thirds of these children would qualify for government-sponsored health insurance if their parents applied for it.

Uninsured people are far more likely to go without essential medical care, including vaccinations and treatments for potentially fatal illnesses.

This is especially sad when children are involved, because they are very dependent on their parents and on the social organizations that have been created to help them.

A complicated enrollment process and lack of knowledge about the programs are the main reasons given why so many of these eligible children are not enrolled in government-sponsored health insurance programs.

Maybe the government likes to keep things the way they are so they can avoid paying for health care for all eligible children? If not, there’s no reason for the enrollment process for government-sponsored health insurance to be complicated.

Everything can be done on a single sheet of paper with a copy of a tax return attached to prove financial eligibility. These forms may be available at any doctor’s office or hospital. They can be simple enough for anyone to understand and have time to complete.

The issue of parents not knowing about the availability of programs could also be solved if the government really wanted to appropriate the resources to provide them with health insurance. The money is there, it’s just not always used in the most efficient ways.

The availability of public health care for eligible children is something that should be actively advertised. Public schools could send notes home with children. Hospitals can explain the program and help parents register their newborns before they leave the hospital.

The IRS may send information to households with qualifying income. If the enrollment process was made straightforward and simple and parents were made aware of the availability of programs, our country could have 3 million children without health insurance instead of 9 million. This is a big difference.

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