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New state scorecard on children's health care finds wide geographic disparities
Date:2/1/2011

New York, NY, February 2, 2011Two years after the reauthorization and expansion of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), a new Commonwealth Fund state-by-state scorecard evaluating how the health care system is working for children finds that federal and state action on behalf of children has helped preserve, and even expand, health coverage for this group, despite the severe recession. Yet wide differences persist among states when it comes to health insurance coverage, affordability of health care for families, children's receipt of preventive care and treatment, and the opportunity for children to lead healthy lives. Children living in the five top-ranked statesIowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshireare more likely to be insured and to receive recommended medical and dental check-ups than children living in poorer-performing states like Florida, Texas, Arizona, Mississippi, or Nevada.

The report finds strong evidence for the value of federal and state policies aimed at improving rates of health insurance coverage. Early expansions of Medicaid at the start of the decade, Medicaid stabilization funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the stimulus bill), and the expansion and reauthorization of CHIP in February 2009 allowed states to continue to provide and, in some cases, expand health insurance for children during the economic downturn. While coverage rates for parents have declined in 41 states over the past decade, children have fared dramatically better, with rates increasing in 35 states over the same period.

The report, Securing a Healthy Future: The Commonwealth Fund State Scorecard of Child Health System Performance, 2011, analyzes 20 indicators of how the health system is performing for children in each state. Drawing on the most recently available data, the report compares each state to benchmarks that have already been achieved in one or more states. The researchers find that if all states c
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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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