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Kids Count 2016 Emphasizes ACA's Positive Impact On "Emerging Adults"


Voices for Children and the Annie E. Casey Foundation have just released the 2016 Kids Count report. This year, they focused on young people aged 18 to 24 – a group they refer to as “emerging adults,” since many in this age group are still working on independence and self-sufficiency.

Chrissy Tonkinson, Research Coordinator for Voices for Children in Nebraska, says this year’s report stresses the huge impact the Affordable Care Act has had on this age group.  Since the ACA started, the number of uninsured Nebraskans in this age group has dropped more than 50%.  She says lacking health insurance during this age span can have a number of negative consequences. 

“You see higher rates of emergency room visits, young people not having contact with a doctor, especially for preventative care – whether that’s pregnancy prevention, or healthy behaviors, substance abuse, alcohol abuse, even mental health care -- they are only going when they need that urgent care, and when you are visiting emergency rooms you are not getting that continuity of care, as well as it’s a pretty big expense for individuals as well as taxpayers later.”

Tonkinson says the 2016 report also identifies the need for Nebraska to duplicate the supports provided to those transitioning out of the state's Child Welfare System for those transitioning out of the state’s Juvenile Justice System.  

For the first time this year, a searchable online copy of the Kids Count report is available at the on-line data center, NEteractive.

For more information, the website is