Could health care reform help boost youth sports participation?
If you sign up your child for sports, often you have to sign a form stating that you have sufficient health insurance to cover any cost for injury your child might suffer in the course of league practice and play.
With U.S. Census figures showing that as of 2007, one in nine children was uninsured — it’s tough to tell whether expansion of children’s health plans and the Medicaid rolls (thanks, unemployment!) have outstripped the number of families who just can’t afford insurance — it’s not beyond the realm of imagination to suspect that there are parents who don’t sign their kids up for sports because they’re afraid they can’t pay for a broken bone.
So with the U.S. House passing health system reform tonight (Nov. 8), the question is, if health insurance is truly expanded to almost the whole of the population, will those parents reconsider?
This is all a wild guess on top of a possibly rhetorical question. I can’t find (at least not through a not-totally-exhaustive Google search) research showing how being uninsured affects youth sports participation. It might be tough to pull out that specific issue if, say, a family decides not to sign a child up because of other economic issues, such the expense of athletic fees or the worry of not being able to afford sufficient equipment.
Anyone have any thoughts?