Medicaid Works for Children

February 14, 2018

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has the latest data on the impact of Medicaid on children — and the benefits are lifelong.

Medicaid provides health coverage to 37 million children, along with the nearly 9 million kids covered under the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).  Medicaid covers a full range of medical services for children, including essential screening services that catch health problems early and in-school services that help children excel in school.  And Medicaid works: kids covered by Medicaid not only gain access to needed care but also experience long-term health and economic gains as adults, such as better health status, higher educational attainment, and greater earnings.  

Cutting Medicaid or radically changing its financing structure — for example to a per capita cap as in recent congressional Republican proposals to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) —  would threaten the essential services that children need.  Instead of cutting and capping Medicaid, federal policymakers should support positive state innovations that improve coverage for children.