The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing is ill-served when it bases its strategic plans on ancient, and incorrect, data from advocacy organizations.
In its narrative response to the Joint Budget Committee on January 4, 2012, on page 9 HCPF informs the Committee that
All states are facing similar challenges to manage more clients with fewer resources. Colorado, however, has the fastest-growing child poverty rate in the nation. The child poverty rate has climbed by 72% since 2000, according to KIDS COUNT in Colorado, an annual report by the Colorado Children’s Campaign.
As the Independence Institute showed in 2008, the large increase in child poverty claimed by the Colorado Children’s Campaign is a statistical artifact. The statistical sample used to generate poverty rates in 2000 was restricted to Colorado counties that have historically had relatively low child poverty rates. When counties with historically higher rates of child poverty were added in 2006, estimated child poverty jumped and advocates declared a crisis.
The Campaign is not a neutral policy group. It has long been closely affiliated with the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Annie E. Casey has long advocated for more government involvement in the lives of children. Among other things, the Campaign was a participant in the Finish Line project, a national project partially funded by an organization with a longer-term goal of informing and “advancing federal policy to cover all children.”
If the goal is more government involvement, and one implicitly assumes that poor families cannot raise children properly, what better way to foster more government involvement than to produce and harp on data showing that child poverty is increasing?