Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families will talk today about a report that notes the huge benefits to children from the Affordable Care Act and Arkansas’s expansion of Medicaid under that act, widely derided by Republican candidates as Obamacare. 

Since last fall, almost 25,000 more children have coverage through ARKids First, Medicaid or private insurance thanks to the private option expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare and enrollment in the new private insurance marketplace result from the law.

This number includes 22,228 new enrollees of previously eligible but uncovered children in ARKids First and 2,500 children in discounted marketplace private insurance plans. That’s almost 25,000 kids with affordable access to checkups and treatment, the Advocates say.

“We know that when parents have coverage, kids get covered, too,” says Rich Huddleston, executive director of AACF. “The Private Option and the Affordable Care Act have gone a long way in insuring Arkansas children. We have a lot of people to thank for that including our legislative leaders, the governor, and everyone who has been involved in ARKids First since its beginning in 1997.”

Anna Strong, health policy director for AACF, says the number of uninsured children in Arkansas has dipped below six percent, down from 22 percent when ARKids First began. She says this dramatic reduction is no accident.

Remember these numbers every time an ad comes on the air, such as from Asa Hutchinson and Tom Cotton, saying, “I’ve always opposed Obamacare, always will.” They oppose covering those 25,000 children. If you do, too, vote for them. But if you believe in expanding health coverage for children and are voting in Republican primaries, vote for people like John Burris, Duncan Baird, Bruce Holland and others. They made it possible for full benefits of Obamacare to flow into Arkansas. I, for one, thank them.


You can read the full report here.