How Medicaid Helps Children and Families

MEDICAID IS A LIFELINE FOR U.S. CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

BY THE NUMBERS:

  • 17 Percent of Parents Have Health Insurance Through Medicaid.
  • In 2010, Medicaid Kept 2.6 Million Americans Out Of Poverty.

HOW PRESIDENT TRUMP & CONGRESSIONAL REPUBLICANS ARE TRYING TO DISMANTLE MEDICAID:

  • President Trump and his Republican allies in Congress have repeatedly tried to slash funding to Medicaid and turn impose per capita caps. Last year, the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which included a per capita limit on federal Medicaid spending and would have resulted in huge cuts to Medicaid across states. After failing to pass the AHCA in the Senate, Republicans have relentlessly continued their attacks on Medicaid. Last December, the Trump Administration went so far as to propose a budget that called for  $1.4 trillion in cuts to Medicaid.
  • The Trump Administration is encouraging states to require people to work to continue Medicaid coverage. Experts warn that work requirements are fundamentally bureaucratic hurdles designed to restrict access to health care rather than increase employment. Previous examples show that requiring enrollees verify their employment or work-related activities will reduce enrollment among those still eligible for Medicaid.
  • President Trump and Congressional Republicans are targeting Medicaid to pay for tax cuts to the wealthy. Last December, President Trump signed a $1.5 trillion tax bill that disproportionately benefits the wealthy. How do Republicans plan on paying for it? Speaker Ryan’s answer is clear: “Frankly, it’s the health care entitlements that are the big drivers of our debt.” Republicans’ approach is simple, cut programs that support working class families.
  • Restricting access to Medicaid for adults reduces children’s coverage. Republican efforts to shrink Medicaid enrollment will harm families. Research tells us that children’s coverage depends in part on their parents’: “When parents lose coverage, children are at greater risk of becoming uninsured, even if they remain eligible for Medicaid and CHIP.”

 

MEDICAID AND CHIP ARE CRUCIAL SOURCES OF COVERAGE FOR AMERICA’S CHILDREN

Since The Affordable Care Act Expanded Access To Medicaid, The Children’s Uninsured Rate Has Fallen To An All-Time Low. “Since the implementation of the major provisions of the Affordable Care Act in 2014, almost 2 million children have gained health insurance…The sharp improvement in children’s coverage is a result of more children enrolling in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).” [Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, September 2017]

Medicaid Helps Children Stay Healthy, Leads To Long-Term Benefits For Children When They Grow Up. “Medicaid coverage has a significant positive impact not only on children’s health, but also on their educational attainment and job earnings. Children covered by Medicaid during their childhood have better health as adults, with fewer hospitalizations and emergency room visits, research shows.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 4/18/17]

Thanks To Medicaid, Students Have Access To The Resources They Need To Focus In School. “Under [Medicaid’s Early Periodic Screening Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT)] benefit, children and adolescents under the age of 21 have guaranteed access to a robust set of comprehensive and preventive health services, including regular well-child exams; hearing, vision, and dental screenings; and other services to treat physical, mental, and developmental illnesses and disabilities. The EPSDT benefit also covers medically necessary supplies and equipment that help students in schools, such as hearing aids, eyeglasses, wheelchairs, and other assistive technology to help students hear and see.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 4/18/17]

MEDICAID HELPS CHILDREN AND FAMILIES BE MORE FINANCIALLY SECURE

In 2010, Medicaid Kept 2.6 Million People Out Of Poverty. “Medicaid kept at least 2.6 million individuals out of poverty in 2010, making it the third largest anti-poverty program in the country behind the EITC and SNAP…The poverty-reducing effects were greatest for adults with disabilities, the elderly children, and racial/ethnic minorities.” [Georgetown University Centeor for Children and Families, 3/8/18]

One Study Found Medicaid To Have A Larger Impact On Child Poverty Than All Other Tested Benefits Combined. “Medicaid is among the most effective anti-poverty programs…Medicaid had a larger effect on child poverty than all non-health means tested benefits combined. It is estimated to reduce child poverty by 5.3 percentage points.” [Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, 3/8/18]

Medicaid Helps Keep Families Out Of Debt. “Recent expansions in Medicaid for children and adults correspond with a decline from 2011 to the first half of 2016 in the share of families reporting problems paying medical bills. The percentage of poor and near poor children and adults who were in families having problems paying medical bills decreased by almost 30 percent…Health care costs are consistently found to be one of the most significant drivers of bankruptcies. One study estimated that more than 60 percent of all bankruptcies in 2007 were due to medical costs.” [Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, March 2017]

MEDICAID HELPS PARENTS STAY HEALTHY

Medicaid Covers Almost Half Of All Births In The United States. Medicaid is a vital source of coverage for new mothers; it covers half of all births in the United States and helps nearly half of all pregnant women access prenatal care and child delivery services. [Kaiser Family Foundation, 3/12/18]

Medicaid Helps Moms Get Care For Maternal Depression. “Expanding Medicaid coverage to low-income adults (including mothers) offers states a major opportunity to increase screening, identification, and treatment of maternal depression—thereby promoting young children’s healthy development and family economic security. Access to Medicaid reduces the incidence of depression by increasing access to mental health services and diminishing financial barriers to care.” [Georgetown University Center for Children and Families and CLASP; July 2016]

EXPANDING ACCESS TO MEDICAID FOR PARENTS HAS RIPPLE EFFECTS FOR THEIR CHILDREN

More Than 15 Million People Have Health Care Through Medicaid Expansion. [Kaiser Family Foundation, 2016]

When Parents Have Medicaid, Their Children Are More Likely To Have Regular Care. As summarized by Georgetown University’s Center on Children and Families, recent research finds that “Parents enrolled in Medicaid have children who are 29 percentage points more likely to receive a well-child visit. The relationship is strongest for families with household incomes between 100% and 200% [of the federal poverty line]. In these families, parents enrolled in Medicaid have children who are 45 percentage points more likely to receive a well-child visit.” [Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, 1/12/18]

Medicaid Expansion Led To Gains In Coverage For Children As Well As Parents. A study in Health Affairs found that “710,000 children gained public coverage when their parents enrolled in Medicaid between 2013 and 2015. If the remaining 19 non-expansion states expanded Medicaid, 200,000 additional children would gain health coverage through existing programs. The effect was largest among children whose parents gained Medicaid eligibility through the expansion.”  [Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, 1/12/18]