On the subject of youngsters’s well being, two terrifying headlines are making headlines this week. The Washington Submit reviews that “CDC information exhibits highest stage of vaccine exemptions for kindergartners.” The New York Occasions says: “Not less than 2 million youngsters have misplaced their Medicaid insurance coverage this 12 months.” These intertwined tales are each the results of selections by Republicans to place MAGA’s anti-vaccine insurance policies above youngsters.
Vaccination refusal amongst kindergartners elevated from 2.6% within the 2021-2022 college 12 months to three% in 2022-2023, the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention present in its most up-to-date assessment of information vaccination. Each state and Washington, D.C., require not less than proof of vaccination in opposition to measles, whooping cough and polio. Each state permits exemptions for well being causes, however a rising variety of states permit them for spiritual or “philosophical” causes.
No, it’s not simply MAGA mother and father who refuse to take part responsibly in civil society by defending their youngsters and others. However the sharp enhance, in keeping with a December 2022 survey from the Kaiser Household Basis, is among the many republicans. “Amongst Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, there was a 24 proportion level enhance” in individuals who imagine that “mother and father ought to have the ability to determine to not vaccinate their school-age youngsters, even when it creates dangers to the well being of others. .” This represents a rise from 20% in 2019 – earlier than the pandemic and MAGA vaccine hysteria – to 44% in 2022.
Many of those youngsters, in addition to their college and playmates who’re unvaccinated or at larger danger from publicity to unvaccinated youngsters, have been with out medical insurance because the finish of the growth of the pandemic; greater than 2 million of their insurance policies, as reported by the Occasions. It is unclear what number of discovered protection via different sources, Medicaid knowledgeable Joan Alker advised the Occasions. She estimates there are not less than 1 million youngsters with out protection.
This data comes, once more, from the Kaiser Household Basis, which is monitoring occasions. “unwinding” of Medicaid protection because the pandemic growth of this system expired. That is solely amongst 21 states that report information on who has been excluded from this system by age.
“As of November 8, 2023, not less than 2,006,000 youngsters have been out of faculty out of 5,238,000 complete dropouts throughout the 21 states,” KFF reviews. Right here is the graph of those 21 states. It’s clear that a few of the reddest states have been the best in taking away well being care from youngsters.
The Medicaid unwinding course of has been sophisticated and tough for many states. Throughout the pandemic, Medicaid enrollees haven’t needed to frequently show their eligibility for advantages and 21.2 million folks, together with youngsters, have been added to this system in the course of the pandemic. Some states (primarily blue states) have labored laborious to contact enrollees to clarify how you can present protection for his or her households. And a few states (many crimson states) have been much less proactive in serving to their residents.
Each points are political and the implications are that youngsters are harmed. Kicking youngsters off Medicaid and selling the concept vaccinations are harmful and that public well being is just not as essential as MAGA beliefs are integral to Republican ideology lately. It might be the self-proclaimed “occasion of life,” forcing youngsters to be born so they might then be uncared for and downright harmed by Republican insurance policies.