I was listening to NPR today and heard that the number of children without health insurance has declined nationally. "What!" I thought to myself "That doesnt make sense, poverty has been rising steadly for the past six years." I heard the report was done by a group at the University of Minnesota, so I decided to just go read the report myself.
According to the report the number of children without health insurance HAS declined, but there is a catch. Between 1998 and 2004, the number of children with private health insurance has declined 3.5%. That means the increase in the number of kids with health insurance is because more children are on public health insurance programs, a form of welfare.
Thus while it is pleasing to see the number of kids with any insurance is going up, it actually does correlate with increasing poverty because what happened is more kids now qualify for welfare then before. In fact, further in the report they state that the number of children on public health insurance programs (welfare) has increased 6.4% with 34 states experiencing a "significant increase in public coverage among children." Im suspecting if the media talks about this report at all, it will just say "More kids have health care now, aint that grand!" But its because more children are living in poverty now and receiving government funded health care. Keep this in mind if you hear any Republicans touting this report as a success of the Bush Administration. And if you hear a republican tout this report and say its a good thing, you should say "I'm so glad you agree! Because the increase is entirely centered on kids on public health insurance and since you support that, why not put everyone on public health insurance and join the rest of the advanced world in a national health-care sytstem!"
On a side note there is a state-by-state breakdown of most insured children (of any type of insurance), Minnesota is #1 but Massachusetts is #2 (hopefully will soon move to #1.) 7 out of 10 of the top states are Blue states, 9 out of 10 of the bottom states (with least amount of insured kids) are Red states. Stupid anti-american liberal elitist blue states with all their insured children!