A new Georgetown University report shows between 2016 and 2019, the number of Ohio children without health insurance rose by 27 thousand to 131 thousand.
Because the data was collected prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, child advocates worry rates will continue to rise. Kelly Vyzral with the Children's Defense Fund of Ohio says the state now ranks seventh in the nation for the number of children without coverage:
At nearly five percent, Ohio's rate mirrors the national rate and reverses a trend of decrese. Georgetown's Joan Alker says the increase could be linked to efforts by the Trump administration to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. She says without funding for outreach and 'navigators' to assist with enrollment, some parents don't sign up:
Alker says research shows coverage improves a child's health outcomes, academic achievement and economic security.