Efforts to improve the health care system for children and pregnant women in the United States depend, in part, on understanding current health expenditures for these groups and the relationship of public and private insurance, or absence of insurance, to their use of health services. Since the May 1991 issue of the American Journal of Diseases of Children, important new data and analysis on both of these dimensions have become available.
Lewit and Monheit1 have recently estimated the annual expenditures on medical care services for children from conception through 18 years of age. In this study, the distribution of $50 billion of expenditures for children by type of service and source of payment and the rate of growth of these expenditures is compared with the $314 billion expended on those adults 19 years of age and older. The authors conclude that because of the lower relative share of expenditures