Number of US children uninsured up 276,000: report

             By Umar Farooq</p>  <p>WASHINGTON (AA) - The number of children uninsured during U.S. President Donald Trump's first year in office increased by 276,000, according to a report by Georgetown University.</p>  <p>Researches found the uptick disrupted a nearly decade-long trend in which the rate of uninsured children decreased. Washington D.C. was the only area that experienced a decrease in uninsured children in 2017.</p>  <p>Texas had the highest number of uninsured children, with a ratio of more than one-in-five children uninsured, according to the report released Thursday.</p>  <p>This resulted in an additional 80,000 Texan children not being covered in 2017.</p>  <p>&quot;Uninsured children are more likely to have unmet health needs and lack a usual source of care,” said Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute’s Center for Children and Families. “Untreated medical conditions such as asthma lead to missed school days and reduce children’s chances for success in school. These findings should raise concern about the chances for all children to grow and thrive.”  </p>  <p>One reason for the increase in uninsured children is several states opted not to expand Medicaid coverage for parents and low-income adults, said the report.</p>  <p>Medicaid expansion, a part of the Affordable Care Act created under the administration of former President Barack Obama, offers low-cost or free health care services to low-income individuals and families.</p>  <p>The report noted despite a strong economy and low unemployment, &quot;federal actions contributed to a perception that publicly funded health coverage options are no longer available.&quot;</p>  <p>And in some cases, children of immigrants are not being enrolled in Medicaid programs due to fear of retaliation or being unaware of their options, even though they are U.S. citizens.</p>  <p>&quot;This constellation of national trends has likely created an ‘unwelcome mat’ effect where families are unaware of their options or deterred from seeking coverage,&quot; the report said.</p>  <p>