Since April, at least 2 million children have lost Medicaid health insurance throughout 21 U.S. states. The reports by researchers at the Georgetown Center for Children and Families and KFF, a health policy organization, sound the alarm of the declining health protections available for children in poverty. States are taking away Medicaid as the poverty rate for children doubled since 2022.
Children and families are bearing the consequences as families cannot afford their children’s life-saving medications, and cancel doctor appointments due to lack of health coverage. Children have to go weeks without medication for their mental health because families cannot cover the monthly fees, typically thousands of dollars.
Young people’s health is being jeopardized due to decisions of the minority in power. After the end of the pandemic policy that guaranteed Medicaid coverage during the health emergency, states quickly started unwinding, or double-checking, people’s eligibility. In the process, nearly 9 million people have lost Medicaid in the past months.
The loss of health coverage for low-income children and adults should come as no surprise, as the U.S. has a private for-profit healthcare system that puts profits over people’s health. Government programs like Medicaid supposedly fill in the gaps for the poorest people. But the politicians responsible for funding the system obviously don’t see impoverished people’s health, including children’s, as a priority. In countries with similar economies and some form of universal healthcare, such access was made possible by the organizing and struggles of working people who fought for and won those much better healthcare systems. To guarantee healthcare to all children and communities, in the U.S. and worldwide, we must fight for what ordinary people, not the One Percent, need. And sooner or later, we must replace the system run by the few with one run by the millions.