When a mother has a child with a 104 degree fever and she tries to wait it out just as long as possible before going to the doctor, you know something is wrong. And when millions of mothers around the nation are doing this same thing, you know something is terribly wrong on an institutional level.
Our entire health care system is in shambles but it’s not going to be an easy fix. In the meantime, especially in the midst of so many budget cuts, we’ve got to keep our priorities straight. At the moment, they are looking pretty twisted because children’s health care is at the bottom of the list.
In California, for example, Swarzenegger wanted to cut the Healthy Families program, which serves the state’s lowest income children. California’s budget conference committee did reject Swarzenegger’s proposal, but settled for $70 million in Healthy Families’ budget cuts. What part of poor, sick children suggests that children’s health care should be a low-priority issue? Unfortunately, the poor, sick children are sacrificed in the name of more appealing investments from rich, healthy businessmen. I know life isn’t fair, but this is inexcusable.
Children’s health care is an investment too. And more than just in kids’ health, it’s an investment in our nation’s future. For example, socioeconomic inequalities are exasperated because poor children do not have good access to health care. Poor health directly affects cognitive development and success in school, impacting the ability to rise out of poverty in adulthood. Ensuring that all children have health care strengthens the potential of our nation as a whole- these are the kids who need to grow up and fix all the problems we’ve created, so we better treat them well.
Share your ideas on how to fix a corrupt health care system. Take action by signing the petition to Obama that urges him to ensure health care coverage for all uninsured children.