Props to the Affordable Care Act.
According to a report by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families and the National Council of La Raza, the number of insured children increased from 2013 to 2014 -- hitting an "all time low" status since the ACA provisions were implemented. The number of uninsured children dropped to 9.7 percent in 2014 as compared from 11.7 percent the previous year. This means that, from the two million kids without health insurance in 2013, three hundred thousand have been granted with health coverage, leaving the government with 1.7 million children to address, according to a report by NBC News.
Manager of NCLR's Health Policy Project Steven Lopez said that providing health care coverage to Hispanic children is "not only important for their health and well-being, but it also benefits the United States." Lopez further noted that Hispanic children are the fastest growing segment of the nation's child population prediciting that by 2050, one-third of the U.S. workforce will be Hispanic.
"Given these demographic projections, the future well-being and success of our nation is linked to that of the Latino community," Lopez said.
Study co-author Sonya Schwartz stated that a majority of the Hispanic children who are without health coverage are U.S. citizens and are qualified for Medicaid and CHIP.
"This report points to the need to remove more barriers to coverage, and find ways to get the whole family covered so that Hispanic children can grow up healthy and more financially secure," Schwartz explained.
Eleven states in the United States experienced a drop in the case of uninsured Hispanic children from 2013 to 2014. It is not without effort though as these states have took the necessary steps to raise the income eligibility levels for health insurance programs such as Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Lisa Mariani of the Children's Advocacy Alliance, Nevada credits the feat to good governance, citing Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval who expanded Medicaid under the guidelines laid out in the Affordable Care Act in 2014. "The support that Gov. Sandoval showed by accepting Medicaid funding to offer affordable coverage to more uninsured parents and other adults ... has made a difference in the lives of children and families, because we know that when parents have health coverage their kids are more likely to be insured too," she shared.
As opposed to Nevada, states like Texas, Florida, Arizona and Georgia did not expand its Medicaid programs -- Georgia and Texas had uninsured rates four times of New York's. Moreover, Arizona is reported to be the only state in the country to have closed its CHIP program.
Kaiser Health News furthered that California, New York, Illinois and New Jersey - states with the largest population of Hispanic Children - were the only ones with uninsured rates below the 9.7 percent national average for 2014. The highest recorded were Georgia and Texas (15.3%), Arizona (12.7%) percent and Florida (12.1%).