Oregon Public Broadcasting

Oregon has made significant progress in reducing the number of uninsured kids in the state -- according to new research out of Georgetown University.

The study found the rate of uninsured children nationally dropped from nine percent to eight percent over a two year period.

Over that same period in Oregon, the rate dropped from 12 percent to about 8.5 percent.

In other words, Oregon started with more uninsured kids, but is now insuring them three times faster than the nation as a whole.

Regan Gray of Children First for Oregon says it'll pay dividends years down the line.

"We know that if a child has access to health care not only are they going to be healthier, but they're ready to show up at school, healthy and ready to learn. They're more able to succeed in life," Gray said.

Gray credits Oregon's Healthy Kids initiative with the improvement.

According to the 2011 Oregon Health Insurance Survey, almost 95 percent of kids in the state now have health coverage.

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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