NEW: Teen Births Costs RI Taxpayers $41M Annually
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
The majority of public sector costs of teen childbearing are associated with negative consequences often experienced by the children of teen mothers, during both their childhood and their adolescent years. This includes costs associated with public health care (Medicaid and CHIP), increased participation in child welfare, and, among those children who have reached adolescence and young adulthood, increased rates of incarceration and lost tax revenue due to decreased earnings and spending.
Between 1991 and 2010 there have been 24,849 teen births in Rhode Island, costing taxpayers a total of $1.2 billion over that period. These public sector costs would have been higher had it not been for the substantial declines in teen childbearing. Rhode Island has seen a 50% decline in the teen birth rate between 1991 and 2010. The impressive strides made have saved taxpayers an estimated $47 million in 2010 alone, compared to what they would have paid if rates had not fallen.
New Research Shows Costs
These new state data are an update of research conducted for The National Campaign in 2004 by Saul Hoffman, Ph.D., of the University of Delaware. The analysis provides a conservative estimate of public costs, based on the increased risk of consequences faced by teen mothers, fathers, and their children as compared to mothers having children in their early twenties, controlling for many other factors. “In addition to improving the wellbeing of children, youth, and families, reducing teen pregnancy also saves taxpayer dollars,” said Sarah Brown, CEO of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. “Even though teen pregnancy and childbearing are at historic lows, the still-high public costs associated with teen childbearing remind us all that complacency should not hinder further progress and that progress should not be confused with victory.”
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13 Doctors Behaving Badly
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12 Staying Healthy + Fit
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11 Well-Being Index
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10 Retail Insurance
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9 A Healthier You in 2013
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8 RI’s Sexual Health
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6 Non-Profit Hospital CEO
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4 Health Exchange Rebrand
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3 Heart Health
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2 Health Exchange Launch
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The exchange launched on October 1st with no shortage of hiccups, but the launch was relatively smooth by comparison to those in states whose exchanges were facilitated federally. By November, the exchange had processed over 4500 applicants. And by December the New York Times noted that the RI exchange was the second-best performing in the country with enrollment exceeding target rates by a sizeable margin.
1 Patients Rank Hospitals
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