The Fight is Not Over
As people who believe that communities are stronger when children and families have access to affordable health care, we are profoundly disappointed that the health needs of children and the families that care for them appear to have been forgotten as Congress moves policies designed to radically restructure Medicaid and strip health coverage from millions.
New York’s Medicaid program provides important health coverage for more than two million children – nearly one million under the age of six. Medicaid covers 84% of children living in poverty and 100% of children in foster care. It helps to make sure that our children can get mental, dental and physical health treatment and other vitally important and life-saving care. It promotes healthy development that brings lifelong benefits – to individuals, families and communities. It helps to assure that families do not go bankrupt trying to care for medically fragile children and that children with disabilities can be cared for at home rather than institutionalized.
Medicaid has a great impact for children in both rural and urban New York State. Forty-two percent of rural New York children are covered by Medicaid, with rates higher in certain counties – 50% in Fulton County; 49% in Sullivan County; and 43% in Greene County. Yet many children remain uninsured – 34% in Yates County; 11% in Seneca County; and 11% in Franklin County.
At a time when New York is so close to universal coverage for children – nearly 98% of New York’s children are covered – our elected leaders should be working to close the gap, not moving us back to a time when parents could not afford insurance or basic health care for their children.
The fight is not over. We will continue to press for sound health policies that enhance the lives of children and we thank you for your continued efforts to inform your colleagues and friends and our policymakers about how Medicaid and affordable health coverage benefit the health and well-being of the youngest New Yorkers and the communities that care for them.
President & CEO