Now this is interesting: according to a new study conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a number of state-sponsored initiatives seem to be working. These plans, which offer basic (and sometimes better) health plans to uninsured kids, have had limited success, because (frankly) so few folks take advantage of them.
Apprently, though, that's changing: "State programs that provide health coverage for poor children are working, with the number of uninsured youngsters declining by more than 20 percent between 1997 and 2004," numbers based on the aforementioned RWJF study. The study also determined that there are about 8 million children still without insurance (although I have some problems with this number, I'll stipulate it for the purposes of this post. Of these, some 5.5 million are eligible for one of these state-backed plans.
I'm a bit bothered about one item in particular: the study claims that while there's a 31% increase in the number of 'kinder' enrolled in public programs, there's also a 5% decline in children being insured through private coverage. So parents, who should be paying for this, are foisting off their progeny onto us taxpayers. I'm not all that pleased with this particular development. As it stands, more kids are being covered (which is a good thing), but more of them are being covered on your nickel (which may not be).