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Progress, but still serious problems

Thursday, Mar 6, 2014

* The Illinois Kids Count 2014 report: “Child Health Matters,” was released today. Key findings…

Health Care Coverage: Illinois has made significant progress reducing disparities in children’s health insurance coverage through Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and All Kids. The proportion of Illinois children without health insurance declined from 6 percent in 2008 to 3 percent in 2012. The state has also significantly narrowed racial-ethnic disparities in children’s health insurance coverage.

Family Income: There are wide health-related disparities between children in low-income families and those in families with higher incomes. Children in low-income families are less likely to receive comprehensive, coordinated care within a medical home. Low-income children are more likely to be overweight or obese and less likely to engage in vigorous physical activity. They are more likely to have oral health problems and less likely to receive preventive dental care.

Race-ethnicity: Racial-ethnic minority children in Illinois experience multiple disparities in health status, access to care, and environmental supports. Certain disparities are more pronounced among specific groups. The data show that African-American children are most likely to have poor birth outcomes such as low birthweight and most likely to be affected by asthma. Latino children are least likely to have access to continuous and coordinated care through a medical home. Latino parents are least likely to report excellent or good health for their children and other family members.

Special Health Care Needs: More than 450,000 Illinois children have special health care needs. About 40 percent of these children do not have adequate health insurance. Children with special health care needs are much more likely than other children to have frequent school absences. Less than half of youth with special health care needs receive services necessary to make appropriate transitions to adult health care, work, and independence.

Child Abuse and Neglect: Children who have experienced abuse or neglect have significant and complex health care needs. Medical, dental, and behavioral health conditions are very prevalent among children entering foster care. Since FY 2006, substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect in Illinois have increased by 13 percent. Counties with substantially larger increases include DuPage, Kane, Macon, Vermilion, and Will.

Read the full report by clicking here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

5 Comments
  1. - Confused - Thursday, Mar 6, 14 @ 10:58 am:

    This report is self-serving. Many of the ongoing disparities they note are, in fact, due to the substandard care provided by Illinois Medicaid and it’s spin-off programs. Having “insurance” is not the same as having access to excellent care.


  2. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Mar 6, 14 @ 12:58 pm:

    Confused -

    How in the world do you blame Medicaid for the fact that low income children are more likely to be obese?


  3. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Mar 6, 14 @ 1:03 pm:

    There are some staggering numbers in there.

    From 2006 - 2011, child poverty increased by 2% in Chicago, 19% Statewide, 26% in Suburban Cook County and by 68% in the collar counties.

    Even 0.01% is too much, but 68%? Wow.

    That is 4,000 children in Chicago, 20,000 children in Suburban Cook County and 43,900 children in the Collar Counties.

    Apparently our poverty reduction efforts are not reaching children in the collar counties as well as they need to be, in addition to many other communities.


  4. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Mar 6, 14 @ 1:18 pm:

    === Having “insurance” is not the same as having access to excellent care. ===

    Having Medicaid is better than having no insurance at all. This is a well documented fact, despite what some say.

    It is true, however, that “insurance” does not equal “access”.

    Only 64.9% of doctors in Illinois accept new Medicaid patients. That is 44th among the states.
    http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/stories/2012/august/06/third-of-medicaid-doctors-say-no-new-patients.aspx


  5. - Arizona Bob - Thursday, Mar 6, 14 @ 4:48 pm:

    =Apparently our poverty reduction efforts are not reaching children in the collar counties as well as they need to be, in addition to many other communities.=

    Most of it is due to a few reasons:

    1)the dismantling of public housing in Chicago caused the poor to move, usually out the suburbs where they could use their section 8 vouchers. Many took their gang, culture of single parenthood, and substance abuse problems with them.
    2) Illegal immigration, especially in the latino and Palestinian communities, has moved to the burbs. Poverty problems came with them.

    There used to be realtively low poverty rates in many burbs. If you went from 100 impoverished citizens to 168 impoverished citizens in a community of 100,000, it’s still a 68% increase, but not a demographically significant one.


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