A new analysis concludes just over five percent of kids in Iowa are uninsured. "Families U.S.A." executive director Ron Pollack says his group’s analysis covers data from 2005, 2006 and 2007, so there are probably more uninsured kids in Iowa today due to this year’s economic downturn.
"Iowa has the second-lowest rate in the country of uninsured children so Iowa does a lot better than other states across the country," Pollack says, "but it’s still no consolation for the 38,000 in the state who are uninsured." Nearly all of the 38,000 uninsured children in Iowa live in a family where at least one parent works full-time, all year long and Mike Owen of the Iowa Policy Project says that’s significant.
"These are children in working families," Owen says. "These are children in families that do not have access to health care coverage through their employment." In March of 2009, the federal government’s support of state children’s health insurance program will expire and Congressman Leonard Boswell, a Democrat from Des Moines, expects the new president to support extending it.
"I just have to say I’m looking forward to working with President-elect Obama to make health care access to all children — and adults — a reality and I think I may get to see that," Boswell says. "That’s my hope." Just under half of the uninsured Iowa kids live in families that currently qualify for government-paid health insurance for those kids through the state’s HAWK-I program, but their parents haven’t signed them up for it.
You can read the Families USA report online. Families U.S.A. bills itself as a group that lobbies for health care consumers.