It is a basic fact that kids can't begin to do their best learning if they are struggling to meet basic needs.
Eric Steele has a compelling op-ed in the Bangor Daily News encouraging the expansion of health care to all children -- shouldn't it be a no-brainer?
To take local action on this issue, check in with the Maine Children's Alliance, the Maine Equal Justice Project, or Consumers for Affordable Health Care
Momsrising is working on the same issue, on a national level -- here is there plea:
THE LOWDOWN: For just a moment, imagine that any child, anywhere in America, could see the doctor when they got sick. No more horror stories about uninsured kids getting sicker and sicker because their parents can't afford the cost of health care. No more parents going bankrupt because of a costly childhood illness. Just a whole nation full of healthier kids getting the care they need.
Now compare that vision to reality: A million more children in our nation are uninsured now than just two years ago. Now 1 in 8 children are without any health care coverage at all. Our nation is on the brink of missing an important opportunity to help these uninsured children. Congress must pass the proposed expanded reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) by the end of this month. Sad to say, the President is already threatening to veto the bill--despite the fact that there is broad support from Governors of both parties.
We're up against the clock. We need to send a strong message now that we cannot play politics with the health of our nation's children--and that an expanded SCHIP program should be reauthorized before the deadline! We have an opportunity to send a strong message this coming Tuesday when petition signatures from several different organizations will be delivered together in Washington, D.C. to show broad support for children's health care coverage.
SIGN THE PETITION FOR HEALTHIER KIDS IN AMERICA: Sign our petition now to support better health care coverage for children through expansion of the popular, bi-partisan State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Send a message to Congress and the President that all children deserve health care coverage.
*Sign the petition now.
We need to get as many petition signatures as possible by this coming Tuesday so we can have a big impact when they are delivered on Capitol Hill--so please pass this around to friends to get them to sign on by Monday night as well. Thank you!
THE SCOOP ON SCHIP: This federal health care program (one of our favorites!) helps families afford health coverage for uninsured children (and this help is critically important because right now 1 in 8 children are without health care coverage at all!). Here's how it works--the federal government gives funds to the 50 states, who then use that money plus some of their own dollars to offer affordable health care coverage to working families, usually through private insurance companies. Families that don't meet the low-income standards for Medicaid coverage, but still don't make enough to purchase private insurance, can apply for their children to be covered by these SCHIP-funded plans.
What makes this program so powerful is that it allows states to decide what level of assistance makes sense for their populations--taking into account the state economy, local cost of living, and the total number of uninsured children in their state.
MAKE KIDS' HEALTH CARE A PRIORITY: As a part of a nation-wide, bi-partisan multi-organizational effort, we've been working hard to re-authorize and expand SCHIP this year. Let's tell Congress again, in as many ways as we can (maybe we should hire a blimp!), that we need health care coverage for all kids. Now.
*Don't forget to sign the petition