By Sam Baker - 08/10/11 09:04 PM EDT
More states have cut payments for children's healthcare services than have raised them this year, according to the National Association of Children's Hospitals.
Ten states have enacted laws that cut reimbursement rates for either inpatient or outpatient children's services provided by Medicaid, the group said in a midyear legislative update released Wednesday.
Nine states have passed laws that the organization says will reduce children's access to healthcare or throw up new barriers to obtaining coverage. Illinois, for example, put a two-year moratorium on expanding Medicaid and limited eligibility for the Children's Health Insurance Program to 300 percent of the federal poverty level.
Indiana reduced its standard for CHIP to 250 percent of the poverty line. And several state laws direct agencies to seek waivers from federal eligibility requirements.
Children's coverage has been at the forefront of the debate over potential Medicaid cuts. Children's advocates say cuts in federal spending on the program, such as eliminating a provision of healthcare reform law that blocks states from cutting eligibility, would disproportionately affect children's coverage.