Purpose: To provide commentary on the original research article, “Trends in Child Health Insurance Coverage: A Local Perspective,” by Jean Rapahel, Richard R. Batsell, Marc A. Kowalkowski, Aileen Beltran, Angelo P. Giardino, and Charles G. Macias.

Findings: The authors clearly show that in Houston, TX, over the past eight years, fewer children have employer-sponsored health insurance coverage and more children, especially low-income and minority children, are enrolled in public health insurance programs. These findings underscore the critical importance of preserving and strengthening our existing public insurance safety-net programs.

Conclusion: All children should have access to high quality health care and insurance coverage. While the Medicaid program is not perfect, it plays an essential role in providing low-income children with primary care providers and routine well-child care. As child advocates, we should celebrate the achievements of the Medicaid program while we work to find innovative policy strategies to improve quality of care and optimize health care delivery. We must also stay committed to a comprehensive effort to eliminate childhood poverty and all health disparities as an essential investment in both the future health and future productivity of the next generation.

Author Biography

Claire Bocchini, M.D., is an assistant professor of pediatrics in the Section of Pediatric Infectious Disease at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital. She is passionate about child health advocacy and currently serves as President of Doctors for Change, a Houston-based nonprofit that works to improve the health of all Houstonians. Dr. Bocchini is also involved with the nonprofit CHILDREN AT RISK as a member of the Public Policy Advisory Board and the Board of Directors. Her major advocacy interests include improving access to both primary and specialty care for children, obesity prevention, and immunization awareness and education. Dr. Bocchini completed her undergraduate education at Rice University in 2001 and received her medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in 2005.



A Response To:

Trends in Child Health Insurance Coverage: A Local Perspective by Jean L. Raphael, Richard R. Batsell, Marc A. Kowalkowski, Aileen Beltran, Angelo P. Giardino, and Charles G. Macias.