Kids Count rankings show ACA's national impact

Kids Count rankings show ACA's national impact
Posted at 1:30 PM, Jun 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-10 06:31:00-04

BALTIMORE (RNN) — Amid the healthcare debate, a children's advocacy organization has joined the chorus encouraging lawmakers not to eliminate Obamacare.

The Anne E. Casey Foundation has compiled 16 criteria related to the welfare of children and divided them into four categories - health, education, economic well-being and family and community - to rank the 50 states in the 2017 Kids Count Data Book.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act that Congress is attempting to repeal or replace, 95 percent of children nationwide have health insurance, a historic achievement, the foundation said.

In the five years after the ACA, between 2010 and 2015, California saw a 67 percent decline in the number of uninsured children, the biggest improvement over that period, while Colorado, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and South Carolina saw declines of more than 50 percent.

The foundation also cited other assistance to parents, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, which the Trump tax plan would eliminate.

This year, New Hampshire ranked first in the nation in the Kids Count assessment, while Mississippi ranked last, a ranking it has held in 20 of the 28 assessments since 1990.

"The U.S. continues to have one of the highest child poverty rates among all developed countries,” said Laura Speer, associate director of policy reform and advocacy for the Annie E. Casey Foundation. “This unfairly burdens our young people and the nation, costing an estimated $500 billion a year in reduced economic opportunities and increased health and criminal justice-related costs.

Among the suggestions for improvement, the foundation encouraged tax credits for child care, investments in early childhood education and continued investment in healthcare at the federal and state levels.

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