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Something is wrong when so many kids are uninsured

It appears there are more avenues than ever for states to ensure as many children as possible are covered by health insurance. So why were nearly 12,000 fewer Ohio youngsters covered in 2018 than in 2016?

Gov. Mike DeWine is among those disturbed by the report, published in the Columbus Dispatch. He has asked state Medicaid Director Maureen Corcoran “to see what steps we can take to deal with this.”

There are many possible answers to the question. One is that some Ohio families who once qualified because of income for children’s health insurance have become more prosperous and are no longer eligible.

But if there are other answers — and, most likely, there are — state officials should be finding solutions.

“This trend is deeply disturbing because we know children experience rapid brain development during the earliest years of life, before they start kindergarten,” Shannon Jones, executive director of Groundwork Ohio, a leading child advocacy group, told the Dispatch.

“We have a critical and narrow window of time to build a healthy foundation for development, intervene to address any delays and health conditions, and prevent greater challenges later in life.”

In 2016, 3.6% of Ohio children were not covered by health insurance, the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families reported. By 2018, the percentage had climbed to 5.

Clearly, something is wrong.

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