Currently, there is a drastic decline in the number of health insured children in the United States. Sources report that Medicaid is dropping more and more of its clients without hesitation due to unrealistic paperwork deadlines.
The New York Times reports that across the nation, over one million children have been revoked of their health insurance in the past two years. Specifically speaking in terms of Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program for lower-income families, officials argue that there is simply less need for the coverage as the economy is improving and people are pulling themselves out of the low-income status, but some parents strongly disagree.
With the president's vision being instilled nationwide, the evidence is there that children are losing their coverage as a way of "fighting fraud and waste- and rising fears of deportation in immigrant communities," The New York Times reports. What's strange is that the issues with health coverage are more prominent in only a few states, such as Tennessee and Texas.
Coincidentally, in this minority of states, it was found that they were more strict on their assessments and eligibility checks. Kristin Johnson, a mother of a 9-month-old son who was admitted to hospital before realizing he no longer had coverage, says that she didn't respond to a letter from Medicaid fast enough asking for proof of income and her son became uninsured very soon afterward.
What is even more suspicious is that doctors and patient advocates in areas that are big on immigration report that parents, whose kids are U.S. citizens, are scared of trying to get coverage for their children because they think it lessens their chances of getting a green card themselves and that they could face deportation.
The U.S. government claims that the decline in individuals covered by Medicaid is due to Trump's efforts in improving the economy overall; suggesting more Americans are getting better employment and are being covered under private insurance companies. Kelli Weldon, a spokeswoman for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, says that this is simply not the case.
Many states still check Medicaid eligibility once a year, but in the states where children are the most uninsured, eligibility checks are being done for four consecutive months. If families don't respond to the proof of income request within 10 days, their insurance is being canceled. Eliot Fishman, a senior director at the consumer group Families USA says, "the way they are doing this seems clearly designed to throw people off this program."