for substance abuse, was inadequate (Fox, McManus, and Reichman, 2003), while another study found that less than 10 percent of adolescents who abuse or depend on substances had received treatment (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2006). Blum also addressed this point, noting that the current system for financing health care specifically precludes coverage for much of the care that is most needed. Insurance companies cannot shoulder this burden alone, Blum argued; a public-sector commitment is needed to take on an issue of this magnitude. English described options that have been proposed, such as MediKids,10 which would have expanded publicly funded coverage to age 23, as well as local initiatives that are filling some gaps. In her view, workable policy options exist, but advocacy, supported by research to document both the need for and the potential value of proposed solutions, is necessary to bolster the political will needed to put them to work.


MediKids is part of Florida’s KidCare, the state’s children’s health insurance program for uninsured children under age 19. It is made up of four parts: MediKids, Healthy Kids, the Children’s Medical Services Network for children with special health care needs, and Medicaid for children.

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