Health Insurance for Kids
There are more than 9 million children without health insurance in this country. That is more than any industrialized nation in the world. If you found that hard to swallow, take this - these are also Kids of hard worker American families, just like you, who simply cannot afford to buy health insurance for their children, but earn too much to qualify for Medicaid. So their children go without wellness check-ups at the doctor. They often forgo immunizations, and suffer all manner of chronic conditions. According to recent surveys published in several well-known medical journals "low income children are more likely than other children to have virtually every measured chronic or acute condition and are more likely to be limited by these conditions." And the only program that has been designed to help these kids - State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is about to run out of funds.
The program which subsidizes State run programs that provide health benefits to children of families that do not qualify for Medicaid but do not earn enough to afford private medical insurance will run out in September. Congress needs to vote on whether it will renew, and add 90 Billion dollars over the next 5 years to see that all of those 9 million uninsured children who qualify for the help, enroll in the system. Whether they do or do not could be largely up to you. If you have ever been the parent of a child who has not had health coverage, if you have ever had to make the agonizing decision of whether to buy food, or bring your child for a check up this week, or if you just want to see that no parent in the worlds richest nation should ever again be faced with such decisions -then I urge you to contact your State Senators office and insist that they vote for the increase in funding to SCHIP. You can find out who your Senator is and how to contact them by calling 1-800-828-0498 toll free or log on to www.senate.gov to e-mail your senator.
This truly is not a "Red State/Blue State" issue, Republicans and Democrats alike have expressed publicly their desire to see all children with health insurance coverage by 2010. Expansion of SCHIP is supported by major medical associations like the American Medical Association and the Federation of American Hospitals. Now it is time for congress to put their "money where their mouth is" and find the funding to expand these programs.
Our healthcare system recognized the necessity, the right if you will, to Universal Health Insurance for the elderly in the implementation of Medicare. Do we not have the same commitment to our children as to those over 65? Are they not equally if not more precious to us? Expansion of SCHIP with appropriate funding effectively does the same for all children what Medicare does for the elderly, it sees that they have a safety net that no kid, our most valuable resource slips through the cracks and goes without medical insurance coverage. The proposed 90 billion dollar increase in SCHIP combined with Medicaid and those whose children who do get insurance from employer based medical benefits will guarantee that every child in this nation has medical insurance, and what Mother, Father, or Congressperson doesn't want that?