Ben Conarck of the Miami Herald writes:
"A national spike in children going without health insurance is especially bad in Florida and Miami-Dade County, partly because of a 'chilling effect' for immigrant families who hesitate to enroll their children in public assistance programs because they worry about deportation, a new report found.
That’s one of three factors likely driving the rise in children without insurance in Miami-Dade, where 7% of children were uninsured in 2018, according to the report by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families released Wednesday.
Anne Swerlick, a senior policy analyst with the Florida Policy Institute [emphasis added], a nonprofit that advocates for expanding health insurance coverage, said it took a lot of hard work to get the rate of uninsured children in Florida down to about 6.6% in 2016, which was still above the national average of 4.7% at the time.
The rate has risen each of the two years since: 7.3% in 2017 and 7.6% in 2018, according to the Georgetown report. The rate was as high as 17% in 2008.
'What’s striking to me is how quickly we are backsliding,' Swerlick said [emphasis added]. 'Up until 2016, we were on track to really make a dent in the rate of uninsured kids in the state. ... It’s scary how quickly it seems to be happening.'"