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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- While it may cost the state millions of dollars to provide health insurance for children in low income families, it would cost more not to insure them.
That's according to a new study published in this month's Pediatrics journal.
The research found lack of insurance costs society an additional $2,100 more in health care costs per child each year.
By cutting back on subsidized insurance programs, low income families can't afford regular visits to a doctor's office. Instead they are forced to go to emergency rooms where they can't be turned away for lack of coverage. That means more expensive treatment and longer hospital stays since their conditions are usually worse by the time they seek treatment.
The findings are based on studies of children in Arizona, but Brigham Young University professor Richard Butler who co-authored the report says the results apply to Utah as well.
The executive director of the Utah Department of Health, David Sundwall, says he hopes the research will help him persuade the state Legislature to put more money toward the state's Children's Health Insurance Program.
Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, http://www.sltrib.com
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)