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3.9 million children had no health insurance in 2017, the first increase in a decade

3.9 million children had no health insurance in 2017, the first increase in a decade
[Photo: rawpixel/Pexels]

Over the last 10 years, the percentage of uninsured children in the United States had been slowly shrinking. That is, until 2017, when it went up. According to CNN, which cited new statistics from Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families, around 276,000 more kids were without health insurance compared to 2016–which totaled to around 3.9 million uninsured children.

This is startling news for a few reasons. The most obvious is that children are apparently becoming casualties in the healthcare debate. Meanwhile, politicians love to tout the U.S. economy, which is supposedly very strong right now. Yet, even as business is booming and unemployment is low, more children lost access to healthcare than the year before.

According to Joan Alker, the executive director of the university’s center, politics is likely behind this disturbing rise. She told CNN that both President Trump’s and Congress’s attempt to dismantle the Affordable Care Act likely played a role in the rising number of uninsured children. What’s more, Alker posited that the current administration’s anti-immigration stance may have caused immigrants to avoid signing up for healthcare.

These latest statistics show the impact the Trump administration’s policies have had on Americans. Despite the fact that politicians were unable to kill off Obamacare once and for all, they succeeded at reducing the number of people covered. While these politicos may point to the stock market as indicator for success, the percentage of children without access to basic health benefits offers a more sobering national barometer.

You can read the full report here.

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