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Mon October 1, 2001
Sharp Drop in Uninsured Kids
By Mark Degon
The number of children in Rhode Island without health insurance has dropped to a record low. New statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau for the year 2000 show the number of children in the state without coverage has fallen to 2.4%. That is a decrease from 5.5% in 1999 and the lowest rate among any state in the country. The figures are based on the Census Bureau?s Curent Population Survey conducted in March.
Advocates for children celebrated the figures. Rhode Island Director of Health and Human Services Christine Ferguson said that there are few children in the state not receiving quality health care. ?We probably have some kids who are here with their parents undocumented, kids who are homeless and go from shelter to shelter. There are other sets of issues that have to be dealt with in these cases,? she said.
?This is tremendously good news. Rhode Island is committed to health care for all children. Health insurance is a key element to overall child well-being, and Rhode Island is now the national leader in this area,? said Elizabeth Burke Bryant, Executive Director of Rhode Island Kids Count.
Rhode Island also has the lowest rate of people in the overall population without health coverage. The figures show 6.1% of all people in the state lack coverage. That?s down from 6.9% in 1999.