(CNN)More than a quarter of American children are not getting the health care they need, according to a new report from the nonprofit Children’s Health Fund (PDF).
Dr. Irwin Redlener, who co-authored the report, sat down with CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Monday morning to reveal the details. He said he hopes it will convince Donald Trump and members of his administration to not repeal and replace Obamacare, as the President-elect has pledged to do.
“We still have about 20 million children in America, even with insurance, who are not getting the kind of health care that they need,” said Redlener, who is president of the Children’s Health Fund and a professor of pediatrics at Columbia University. “That’s really a big problem. It would have been for any administration, but we’re concerned now because there’s some threat that if we do eliminate the Affordable Care Act, we’ll put millions of children at risk.”
The report finds that 3.3 million children in the United States are uninsured but says they are not the only ones facing barriers to health care. Many children are insured but live in places where they can’t get to doctors.
“There are children who live in extreme shortage areas,” Redlener said. “They live in counties or communities where there’s less than one doctor for every 3,000 people. They’re living in communities where there is no affordable transportation to allow parents to take the kids to the doctor even if they want to.”
Redlener, who supported Hillary Clinton in this month’s presidential election and was going to be part of her transition team, said the focus needs to be on getting doctors to underserved areas and fixing the transportation system, rather than on changing the insurance system. He told Cuomo that he is reaching out to Trump’s administration and thinks it will be receptive.
“There’s been a lot of talk about fixing our infrastructure,” he said. “Well, in some ways, children are human infrastructure. We need investments in children, at least as much as we need investment in our physical attributes.”