Numerous studies throughout the last 30 years and the results presented here from theKaiser/Commonwealth Five State Low Income Survey support Medicaid's role in improving access to care for poor minority children. Since minority children are affected disproportionately by the unavailability of health insurance, Medicaid's role as a financing source is particularly important to these groups. It is also clear that reducing financial barriers will not eliminate completely the inequalities in health care utilization and disparities in health status across different racial and ethnic groups. As discussed above, despite Medicaid's influence, minority children still exhibit poorer quality of health. Thus, strategies for the next century should focus on ensuring that all barriers to care are removed. This will involve not only the guarantee of universal health care coverage for all children, but also the elimination of social, cultural, and behavioral barriers to optimum health and health care as well.