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Russo: rising number of uninsured children urgent, requires action

October 30, 2019
C. Allison Russo News

State Rep. Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) called on Governor DeWine and fellow Representatives today to address the rapidly rising number of uninsured children in Ohio. This renewed call to action from Rep. Russo follows new research released today that says Ohio has the sixth highest number of uninsured children.

“The increasing number of uninsured children is especially concerning,” said Rep. Russo, “because we have worked diligently over the last decade to expand healthcare coverage among children.”

Despite being a Medicaid Expansion state, Ohio is one of fifteen states with significant increases in uninsured children. New data from Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families report revealed an estimated 133,000 Ohio children were uninsured in 2018. This represents a 28 percent increase since 2016. The report also revealed that federal efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA); cut Medicaid; delay funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); eliminate the individual mandate penalty; reduce enrollment outreach; foster a climate of fear and confusion for immigrant families; and poor oversight over state Medicaid programs with red tape barriers have all contributed to the dramatic increase in the number of uninsured children.

“This is an erosion of many of the gains we’ve made since Ohio’s Medicaid Expansion began in 2013,” Rep. Russo continued. “Our children deserve better, and this should be a wake-up call to the Governor and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to address these declines in insurance coverage with the urgency this issue requires.”

In July, Rep. Russo and fellow House Democrats sent a letter to the Ohio Department of Medicaid asking them to investigate the declining number of children enrolled in Medicaid.