Here’s hoping your child is doing better in school than the state is when it comes to its children.
North Carolina gets an F for child poverty in the Child Health Report Card released Wednesday.
The analysis is based on data from the North Carolina Institute of Medicine (NCIOM) and NC Child – and tracked key indicators of child health and well-being.
Among the findings, almost half of the state’s children live in poor or low-income households.
Dr. Adam Zolotor, president and CEO of NCIOM, says it’s imperative the state focuses on the big picture when it comes to children.
“Increasingly in health policy, we’re concerned about the things that lead to health, not just the measures of health and things showing up like low-income homes, parents without access to health care, family reading,” he points out. “Maybe the most important thing among them is a failing grade, with respect to poverty.”
The Report Card also finds racial and ethnic disparities when it comes to the state’s children’s economic security.
Based on 2015 data, African-American and Hispanic children were more than twice as likely to live in poor or low-income homes than white children.
On a more positive note, the state did receive an A for insurance coverage of its young people and a B for environmental health, family involvement and teen births.
Among children in the state, 96 percent have health coverage, which is a record high and above the national average.
North Carolina also saw an increase in the number of parents with insurance, but Zolotor says much of that progress could be depleted if Washington decides to further dismantle the Affordable Care Act.
“Repealing the individual mandate by way of taking away the tax penalty puts us in a real uncertain position,” he states. “We expect fewer families to be driving to the marketplace and fewer families, therefore, to identify that their children are Medicaid eligible.”
Almost 2.3 million children live in North Carolina. The report recommends increased access to jobs, job training and education for parents.
Additionally, Zolotor and others say the state should look to reinstate the Earned Income Tax Credit, which was eliminated, and the Sales Tax Holiday – currently eliminated, but once held on a weekend preceding the start of the school year.