From the Buffalo News:
ALBANY – The number of children in New York State without health insurance grew by 17 percent last year, marking the first time that it has gone up in nearly a decade, according to a report released Tuesday.
The spike marks a turnaround after years of steady progress in reducing the ranks of uninsured children in the state. Between 1998 and 2004, the number of uninsured children in New York was cut nearly in half, according to the Children’s Defense Fund of New York, which produced the report.
The increase last year means there are now about 415,000 uninsured children in the state, or 9 percent of children and teenagers. The vast majority of uninsured children – 70 percent – are eligible for state health insurance programs, according to the group.
More families could simply be dropping out of increasingly costly private health insurance programs, Bragdon said. Rather than increasing enrollment in state insurance programs, he said, the report shows the need to make private health insurance more affordable.
Even if the 70 percent of uninsured children eventually are covered, that still leaves 124,500 children who are not be eligible for the state-run programs. This is simply unacceptable.
The “self-regulating market policy” is no longer an effective policy for health care in the United States.
The high cost of health insurance is affecting many aspects in our country, including employers, employees, and families and/or individuals who try to seek coverage on their own initiative. Its time for a change; time to no longer allow people to fall through the cracks; time for people to receive medical attention no matter their income level; time to let lapse the policy of people becoming extremely ill or even dying because they cannot afford medical care.
It is shameful that in a country as rich and advanced as the United States, we allow this type of (non) treatment to happen.