There are about 133,000 children in Ohio that do not have health care insurance, according to a report from the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families.
The study analyzed census data from 2016 to 2018 and found Ohio had the fifth largest rate of increase of uninsured children.
Researchers found this was a national trend with the total amount of uninsured children around the country increasing by more than 400,000 to a total that surpasses 4 million.
Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio), who has made children's issues a priority in office, says he's bringing his cabinet together to find out the root of the problem.
"We don't want any child in the state of Ohio not to be covered and be able to get medical care. So anytime that you hear that someone is uninsured you have to worry about that. So this is a priority," says DeWine.
States with Highest Increase in Number of Uninsured Children, by percentage:
- West Virginia, 44.4%
- Tennessee, 43.1%
- Idaho, 31.8%
- Alabama, 28.1%
- Ohio, 27.9%
The report says policy changes from the White House and Congress have created barriers to coverage.
"This serious erosion of child health coverage is likely due in large part to the Trump Administration’s actions that have made health coverage harder to access and have deterred families from enrolling their eligible children in Medicaid and CHIP," the report states in its conclusion.
Rep. Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) wrote in a statement, "Our children deserve better, and this should be a wake-up call to the governor and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to address these declines in insurance coverage with the urgency this issue requires."