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Number of Uninsured Kids Down But Florida Still Falls Short For Coverage

A new report from Georgetown University says when it comes to reducing the number of children without health insurance, Florida has a long way to go. The state has one of the worst rates in the nation for uninsured children but a coalition of groups called KidsWell Florida,  is launching a campaign to change the trend.

The good news: The number of uninsured kids in Florida has declined since 2009. The bad news? The state still has more than 475,000 children without health insurance. Many of Florida’s uninsured kids qualify for Medicaid’s KidCare program for low-income families. And Karen Woodall with the Florida Center for fiscal and economic policy, says the state could insure more children if it expanded Medicaid.

“We feel very strongly that there are many actions that the legislature can take in this next session that could close the gap and cover all uninsured children.”  

But Republican state officials remain opposed to a Medicaid expansion because it could be expensive and it’s part of the federal healthcare overhaul law. KidsWell Florida is also pushing other ideas, like making program changes that help families avoid lapses in coverage.

For more news updates, follow Lynn Hatter on twitter@HatterLynn

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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