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Pediatrics. 1986 Nov;78(5):813-9.

Access to ambulatory care services for economically disadvantaged children.


Using data from the 1981 Child Health Supplement to the National Health Interview Survey, we examined differences in access to ambulatory services for children of different family incomes. The results indicate that much progress has been made in equalizing access since the War on Poverty was initiated in the mid-1960s. Poor children with superior health status now generally see physicians at the same rates as children in similar health but from higher income families. However, children with substantial health problems from low-income families continue to lag behind their higher income counterparts in similar health. Medicaid was shown to substantially improve access to ambulatory services for economically disadvantaged children in poor health, but less than half of these children are covered by Medicaid. Recent changes in federal and state policies concerning Medicaid are discussed as well as policy options for addressing the needs of children afflicted by both poverty and ill health.

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