by Ciara Zachary
Since its inception on July 30, 1965, Medicaid has played an instrumental role in lifting people out of poverty by improving long-term educational and economic outcomes for children. NC Child is proud to celebrate the anniversary of Medicaid’s creation, and highlight its important role in expanding access to health coverage and reducing health disparities in the United States.
Medicaid is key to ensuring that children have health coverage and are able to receive health care. In North Carolina, approximately 40 percent of children rely on public health insurance like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), also known as NC Health Choice. That number is even higher in North Carolina’s rural areas and small towns, where 54 percent of children depend on Medicaid for health care.
We know that when children have Medicaid coverage, it has a positive ripple effect on many areas of their growth and development – and on our economy. When children have Medicaid coverage, they miss fewer school days, experience increased academic achievement, and grow up to get better jobs that pay more. This all means that children with Medicaid coverage can grow up to be successful adults that are able to contribute to their communities. The critical Early and Periodic, Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit is the cornerstone for children’s Medicaid. EPSDT provides extensive coverage that ensures that children receive preventive and specialty care for the whole person.
Unfortunately, recent efforts by leaders in the federal government have threatened to turn back the clock on that progress. Thanks to people across the country raising their voices and sharing their own stories of how Medicaid has made it possible for them to stay healthy, we’ve thus far been able to defend against the most egregious cuts to and attacks on Medicaid.
We hope that you join us in celebrating Medicaid – and remain committed to ensuring that this program remains a bedrock of our health care system for generations to come.
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