Many studies have focused on the uninsured in the United States and in Florida, but few have concentrated on the children. Most of the studies have used national survey data. One of the national surveys’ that was used is the US Census Bureau data collected through the current population studies (CPS) (US Census, 2010). The state of Florida also uses information gather through in-person and telephone surveys of the KidCare Program participants (AHCA, 2016). These surveys measure the participants’ and their families’ perceptions of the program in regard to access, accountability, cost and enrollment status of the participants in the program (AHCA, 2016).
The following sources were used to support the claims and the historical background of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program: articles from the information from the Kaiser foundation website; information from the Medicaid website; information from the US Department of Health and Human Services; and information from Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration.
Many researches have been conducted on the history of Medicaid and the impact that this program has on children’s access to health care. Meanwhile, the Urban Institute has done most of the research on the historical impact that SCHIP has had on uninsured children in the United States. Many in the insurance community agree that the Medicaid Program has been facing a serious impact in regard to how the program is financed and how many people they will be able to serve if states continue to face severe budget cuts.
Some of the common themes found in the various research were: the rising cost of Medicaid; utilization rates; benefits from Medicaid; present and future financial burdens on the states, and the burden on the current system by the populations that are currently enrolled in the program.
A few stakeholders of the Florida KidCare Program agreed that more needs to be done to provide health care insurance coverage and access to care for children in the state who have no other means of obtaining these services and coverage. They are in agreement that politics in this state have always played a role in what alternatives and approaches the legislature uses to address these problems. The stakeholders also agree that uninsured children are an issue, but with the current administration in the legislature and the governor’s office, this issue is not their primary focus. A majority of the major stakeholders agree that a bipartisan approach is needed to make it work and then together they will help provide coverage to those who are still uninsured, however, there is a divide on how this should be done. The stakeholders who hold public office agree that we need to increase the number of children being served, however they would like to see the federal government increase its contribution to states instead of cutting its federal allocation for the various sister programs that make up the Florida KidCare group.
Two stakeholders, one who currently receiving services and one who is no longer enrolled in the program, have both voiced concern over the reduction of services, enrollment periods, and the tightening of eligibility into the SCHIP and Medicaid Programs.
The literature states that Medicaid and the SCHIP is very beneficial and reduces cost shifting, but nonetheless the number of uninsured is growing. Florida’s KidCare Program has been an effective and efficient way to provide health care coverage to low income children. According to the American Public Health Association (2016), “the State Children’s Health Insurance Program has been successful, providing healthcare to over 8.9 million children ever enrolled in 2016 in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five territories” (American Public Health Association, 2014). In Florida, the children enrolled is 2.8 million. The problem still remains that the number of children who are uninsured is growing and more needs to be done to expand coverage throughout the state. A major emphasis should be placed on education and outreach as a top priority no matter what other options are being considered.
...(download the rest of the essay above)