Wyoming report still far behind on children’s health care / Public News Service

LARAMIE, Wyo. — Wyoming ranks 45th nationally for child health, and about 15,000 children in Wyoming do not have health insurance, according to the Annie E. Foundation’s 2021 child count data book. Casey, widely regarded as the most comprehensive annual report on children. in the nation.

Samin Dadelahi, chief operating officer of the Wyoming Community Foundation, said the state’s overall ranking of 17th in the nation would be much higher, if not for low scores on child health.

“When we look at, for example, the economic well-being of the family, of the community, that’s where Wyoming ranked very high, in the top five in the country,” Dadelahi pointed out. “And yet our continued low health score at age 45 brings that whole number down.”

Wyoming ranks 49th, just ahead of Texas, in the number of children without health insurance.

Dadelahi noted that public support for Medicaid expansion was so strong in the last session that lawmakers gave the proposal to the Joint Committee on Revenues. The expansion would provide coverage to 24,000 currently uninsured Wyomingites and is expected to reduce the number of uninsured children.

Leslie Boissière, the foundation’s vice president of external affairs, said the permanent expansion of the child tax credit would provide families with children under six with $300 a month and could reduce long-term disparities. date affecting millions of color families.

“At a time when families are worried about being able to pay their mortgage, or pay their rent, this is a significant sum,” Boissière said. “Up to half of the children currently living below the poverty line are expected to live above the poverty line.”

The report showed last December that 21% of Wyoming adults with children said they felt down, depressed or hopeless. In March this year, the number rose to 28%, largely due to disruption and isolation during the COVID-19 health emergency.

Dadelahi urged lawmakers to consider the rapid increase as they use stimulus funds.

“Families who might already be stressed, and you add that all that on top, especially in rural areas where there’s already a lot of isolation and where there’s a lack of mental health support infrastructure “, explained Dadelahi. .

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