A new brief from KAC and UMHMF looks at how focusing on our children’s health from their earliest days provides not only the best lifetime health outcomes but also an incredible return on investment.
From access to prenatal care, to a baby’s first encounters with a doctor, Kansas’ Medicaid program provides for powerful opportunities to shape the lives of Kansas kids and their families. Healthy parents are more likely to engage with their young children, bolstering the brain development that is critical to the first year. States across the country are leveraging their respective Medicaid programs to shape the earliest years, reduce infant mortality, and transform outcomes in early childhood and beyond.
Some key points from the brief:
- Kids enrolled in Medicaid miss fewer days of school for illness, do better in school, and grow up to be healthier adults, among other positive outcomes
- States that have expanded Medicaid saw greater declines in infant mortality rates than in non-expansion states, and more pre-natal care for first-time moms
- Prioritizing the health of parents and caregivers ensures they can take care of themselves so they can best take care of their children
- Investments in early health interventions make good economic sense by preparing children to enter school ready to learn and lead healthy and successful lives