The Key to the Door: Medicaid’s Role in Improving Health Care for Women and Children

This article, authored by Diane Rowland, Alina Salganicoff, and Patricia Keenan of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, assesses Medicaid’s contributions as a public financing program for health insurance coverage for the poor over the last three decades. It reviews Medicaid’s impact on the low-income population and discusses the limitations of the program as a strategy for improving the health of low-income groups. While gaps in coverage and limitations in access persist between the poor and the privately insured, overall, Medicaid has helped achieve expanded coverage, greater access, and better health care for millions of low-income children and women.

The article appeared in the Annual Review of Public Health 1999 20:403-26.

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