It’s disappointing to see Kansas ranked as dead last when it comes to state efforts to increase the number of children with health insurance coverage.
While 33 states and the District of Columbia reported decreases in their rate of uninsured children, Kansas recorded an increase between 2008 and 2010, according the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute’s Center for Children and Families. During that period, the state’s rate of uninsured children rose from 7.4 percent to 8.2 percent. In real numbers, that’s nearly 8,000 more uninsured Kansas children in 2010 than in 2008.
Although the numbers and ranking are discouraging, a representative of Kansas Action for Children, a child advocacy group, said they aren’t quite as bad as they look. Kansas got a later start in its effort to expand coverage to Kansas youngsters, she said, but now is moving in the right direction. KAC plans a statewide campaign to enroll more children in HealthWave, which provides cost-effective health insurance for children whose parents can’t afford or can’t get private insurance.
Providing health care services for the state’s children is a basic component in ensuring their healthy development and success in school and other areas. It seems that Kansas has nowhere to go but up in this important task, and residents should be watching to make sure that the promised progress does indeed occur.