Under Trump, number of uninsured kids rose for first time this decade

The number of U.S. children without health insurance rose to 5% (3.9 million) last year—up from 4.7% (3.6 million) in 2016, according to a new Georgetown University analysis of Census data.

The number of U.S. children without health insurance rose to 5% (3.9 million) last year—up from 4.7% (3.6 million) in 2016, according to a new Georgetown University analysis of Census data. Although not a big jump statistically, the numbers are striking given that the uninsured rate typically remains stable or falls during times of economic growth. "The nation is going backwards on insuring kids and it is likely to get worse," said Joan Alker, coauthor of the study and executive director of Georgetown's Center for Children and Families. Alker and other child health advocates attribute this change to the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress, saying their policies and actions have affected enrollment. The overall uninsured rate for people of all ages, which declined from 2013 to 2016 following the health law's implementation, remained steady at 8.8% in 2017. The uninsured rates for children rose at nearly three times the rates in states that did not expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, according to the report. Studies have shown that children whose parents are insured are more likely to have coverage. Because almost all low-income children are eligible for Medicaid or the federal Children's Health Insurance Program, Alker stressed the importance of making sure parents are aware of the programs, getting them enrolled, and keeping them signed up.