About 9.8 million children, or one out of seven, had no health insurance at some point in 1995, according to statistics released last week.
The numbers, compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau, were released by the Children's Defense Fund, which said it will lobby for efforts to extend insurance to more children.
The census statistics show the number of uninsured children-13.8% of all children-dropped slightly from 1994, when 14.2%, or just over 10 million children, were uninsured at some time during the year.
But the change was not statistically significant, and the number of uninsured children has remained at about the same level since 1993, said Robert Bennefield, an analyst for the Census Bureau.
The census data show 66.1% of children were covered by private insurance at some time during 1995, up slightly from 1994. Until 1995, the percentage had been dropping steadily since 1989, when 73.6% of children were covered by private insurance.
During 1995, Medicaid covered 23.2% of children. That has grown steadily since 1989, when 19.2% of kids were in the program.
Advocates for children seized on the data, which come during a growing movement to expand health insurance for children.
"Every 48 seconds a child is born without health insurance," said Senate Minority Leader Thomas Daschle (D-S.D.).