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Making Sense of Recent Estimates of Eligible but Uninsured Children

As Congress reauthorizes the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), accurate estimates of the number of children who are eligible for Medicaid and SCHIP but remain uninsured are critical for policy and budget development. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) concluded that there are between 5 and 6 million children who are uninsured and eligible for Medicaid and SCHIP. CBO’s assessment is in sharp contrast to estimates released recently by the Bush Administration that indicating there were only 1.1 million eligible but uninsured children. This brief describes the methodologies underlying the two sets of estimates that have been at the center of the controversy.

Issue Brief (.pdf)