By Hannah Nelson
Dec 24, 2020 – Medicaid cuts to eradicate revenue shortfalls and budget deficits from COVID-19 could lead to long-term adverse effects for children, according to a growing study audited by the Commonwealth Fund.
Medicaid covers nearly 39 percent of children nationwide. Cuts in short-term budget windows would not only have immediate consequences for children and their families who depend on Medicaid, such as decreased access to care and increased financial burden, but also long-term effects that would negatively affect a child for the rest of the year could affect your life.
The Commonwealth Fund literature review found that Medicaid coverage of children and their mothers during pregnancy is linked to many long-term benefits that continue into adulthood, including better health, lower disability, higher levels of education, and better financial outcomes .
The researchers found that pregnant women’s Medicaid coverage benefited children from the moment they were born, resulting in higher birth weights for both this generation and next.
The study also found that each additional year of childhood Medicaid eligibility was associated with a decreased death rate in young adults. Age groups born after Medicaid was founded had lower death rates throughout childhood and into adulthood, with the strongest association being in the oldest age group studied (ages 36 to 40).
In black adolescents and young adults ages 15-23, additional years of childhood Medicaid eligibility decreased the death rate from internal causes such as cancer, nervous system disorders, and especially infectious diseases.
According to the study, Medicaid coverage in early life has been linked to reduced rates of chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease in adults ages 19 to 36 as measured by an index of diseases. More years of Medicaid coverage also correlated with fewer emergency rooms, particularly visits related to chronic illnesses and visits to people living in low-income zip codes.
The study found that the benefits of Medicaid coverage during pregnancy and early life improved health outcomes, as well as educational attainment, financial security, and economic mobility between generations.
Children’s eligibility for Medicaid was associated with lower drop-out rates, especially among people of color. Eligibility also increased the chances of finishing high school in four years, especially for white and Latinx kids.
The researchers also found that each year a child was covered by Medicaid, the greater the likelihood that they would enroll in college. It also increased the chances of getting a four-year college degree.
Medicaid is a federal finance partnership, which means that the federal government pays a fixed portion of the state’s Medicaid costs. If a state cuts its Medicaid program funding by $ 1, the actual federal and state-level cut in Medicaid spending will be significantly greater, ranging from $ 2.28 to $ 6.23 depending on the state.
In addition to further temporary increases in federal Medicaid funding, researchers are proposing an automatic increase in federal funding to prevent cuts to the Medicaid budget during future economic downturns.
“Medicaid cuts can be particularly short-sighted. Not only could they affect children’s access to essential care in the short term and further exacerbate government budget deficits associated with COVID-19, but they could also affect children’s long-term outcomes in health, disability, education and financial security. They said.
Medicaid coverage for children and pregnant women brings significant economic benefits to both individuals and society in general as it improves intergenerational mobility, which in turn increases tax payments to offset previous investments in Medicaid coverage . In particular, more than half of the cost of Medicaid coverage in childhood was offset by higher adult tax revenue.
Women with more years of childhood Medicaid eligibility had higher wage earnings than young adults, especially those who remained eligible during their teenage years. Each additional year of childhood Medicaid eligibility saw a $ 1,784 increase in women’s wages, resulting in additional tax payments of $ 533.
Comments are closed.