National Statistics

Florida exceeds the National average of 11.5% uninsured children.

  • Total children in Florida: 4,229,154
  • Children without Health Insurance: 713,288
  • Percentage of children uninsured: 16.9

Kids Face Life and Death without a Net

Nine Million Children in America Are Uninsured, and the Results Can Be Fatal.

Deamonte Driver’s mother couldn’t find a dentist to accept Medicaid for treatment of an abscessed tooth. The dental problem became a brain infection, and Driver died at age 12.
(ABC News)


June 3, 2007

If the 9 million American children without health insurance held hands, they would easily stretch from coast to coast.

Brenda Tinch’s son is one of those children. Tinch and her husband, whose job does not offer health benefits, struggle every month to pay for asthma medication. They’ve had to put off bills and borrow from the family members and fellow churchgoers. “Without being able to provide for my kids,” said Tinch, “it’s a helpless feeling.” That’s how Akia Anderson feels, too. Her daughter has a bone disease and needs an orthopedist, which Anderson cannot afford.

“That’s my baby,” said Anderson, “and I can’t do what I need to do for her. I can’t do what I need to do for her, so I feel helpless and hopeless.”

Anderson has a job, too. But, like many families, she makes too much for Medicaid and too little to afford private insurance. “If you judged a country by how it treats its most vulnerable people, we’re certainly failing when you leave 9 million children behind,” said Ron Pollack of the child advocacy group Families USA. Marian Wright Edelman, of the Children’s Defense Fund, called the problem a “national disgrace.” The crisis “not only costs lives of children and stress for families, but it also costs taxpayers money,” she added.

Here’s how it costs taxpayers money: When Carol Martin’s son, Simon, had an infected toe, she could not afford to take him to the doctor. She cut a hole in his shoe and hoped it would get better. But it got worse. After five months fighting red tape, she got public insurance for her son, but by then his foot required expensive surgery — a bill taxpayers swallowed. “I’m not looking for a handout,” said Martin. “I just need assistance. Health care. That’s all.”

When uninsured children do get medical care, that care is often inferior. One study from Families USA said an uninsured child is twice as likely to die when hospitalized, when compared to an insured child. Even when a child is covered by government insurance, he or she can fall through the cracks.
Like Deamonte Driver.

Last Updated: October 17th, 2012 |

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