DES MOINES - About 60,000 more Iowa children are covered by government-based health care now than three years ago, according to an analysis issued Tuesday by the Iowa Fiscal Partnership.

The children benefit from coverage through Medicaid or the state's Healthy and Well Kids in Iowa, or HAWK-I, programs, Carrie Fitzgerald, senior health policy associate with the Child & Family Policy Center, and center executive director Charles Bruner said in a a two-page report.

They said many children would not have access to quality and affordable health care otherwise.

"Efforts to expand coverage through Medicaid and HAWK-I are making a difference in the lives of children across the state. This is the result of a two-pronged public policy effort at the state and federal levels," Fitzgerald said. "More than one-third of children in every congressional district have health coverage through public programs."

According to partnership documents, the percentage of Iowa children covered by the Medicaid or HAWK-I programs increased from

29 percent to 37 percent from April 2007 to April of this year. Without those programs, Fitzgerald said, "the impact of the recession on uninsured families would be even more difficult than they have seen."

The 5th Congressional District had the largest share of children covered at 41.2 percent. The congressional district numbers were as follows: 

* 1st District (northeast): 52,437 covered or 37.7 percent, up from 30.2 percent

* 2nd District (southeast): 51,787 covered or 36.1 percent, up from 29.3 percent

* 3rd District (central): 55,367 covered or 34.3 percent, up from 24.7 percent

* 4th District (north central): 46,882 covered or 35.4 percent, up from

26.9 percent

* 5th District (west): 56,161 covered or 41.2 percent, up from 31.7 percent.