Research Watch: The State of Children

Diana Zuckerman
November 1, 1998

Naomi Lopez

Pacific Research Institute

755 Sansome St., Ste. 450

San Francisco, CA 94111

(415) 989-0833

Meanwhile, a new report by the conservative Pacific Research Institute bashes federal government efforts to assist children, including CHIP. According to their report, “Highly politicized child advocates continue to paint a bleak picture of children’s prospects” even though a “careful assessment of the facts” confirms that children are “actually better off today than they have ever been.” In their report The State of Children, the Institute recommends private alternatives to public health-care delivery and education, reducing families’ tax burden, and reducing the costs of Social Security and Medicare.

In this report, ideological bias struggles with facts, and facts often lose. For example, it cites the decreases in infant mortality in the U.S. over the last 30 years as an indication that children are doing well, but fails to mention that the U.S. infant mortality rate is much higher than virtually every other industrialized country. The report also criticizes the CHIP program as unnecessary because “the most comprehensive study of health insurance” indicated that free health care has a small impact on improving children’s health but results in a dramatic overuse of medical services. However, it fails to mention that the study it quotes is terribly outdated, using data from 1974-82 that is not relevant to today’s much stricter managed care policies.

Zuckerman, Diana. "The State of Children." Research Watch review of "What Parents Should Know About Government’s Efforts to Assist Children".Youth Today, November 1998, p. 9.

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