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Luxury of Healthcare for Kids!

I’m so lucky that Joanne Bamberger, aka PunditMom, let me go to her website and steal great content to use while I was on vacation.

The PunditMom household is lucky when it comes to health insurance. Even though we pay the “full freight” for the policy we have, the coverage is pretty good and I never have to worry about whether PunditGirl’s health care will be covered. But even as secure as Mr. PunditMom’s job seems to be, I do wonder what would happen if the luxury of health care went away? Would I be so quick to consult the pediatrician for a nine-year-old’s fever or complaint of a sore throat, let alone well visits?

That’s right, I said luxury. How wrong is that — to live in America and view good health care as a luxury? But that’s exactly what it is for millions of families.

President Obama promised as a candidate that revamping our flawed health care system would be a priority. As Congress and the Obama administration move forward this month with plans to reform how families are insured in our country, I assumed that children, naturally, would be at the forefront of those efforts.

Of course, Obama has signed a law that increased funding for the SCHIP program, but wouldn’t it be great if we could just assume that our country would, as a matter of policy, would insure children without having to show their families’ incomes met certain requirements?

Health care for children no matter what.

I was lucky enough to be invited to a program to hear about a new initiative to move us in that direction called Speak Now for Kids, sponsored by the National Association of Children’s Hospitals, to make sure that children’s health gets the attention it needs as Congress and the Obama administration move forward on health care reform hearings.

Many will raise their voices about the cost of such an idea, but as I was thinking about this whole topic I was reminded that it’s essential to look at the big picture — it all comes down to how we as a society value our children. If we view our children through the lens of making sure they have what they need to succeed as the next generation we have to rely on, maybe even those fiscal conservatives would agree that ensuring that all children have good medical care benefits all of us!

Here’s some food for thought in the form of a few factoids put together by Speak Now for Kids:

Children’s coverage varies among states — a child’s chances of being uninsured is about 5 percent in Michigan, but 20 percent in Texas

Increasing numbers of employers are cutting back health benefits. Most children who have private health insurance have it through a parent’s employer

Yes, there is Medicaid and CHIP, but coverage and eligibility varies greatly from state to state

Children covered by Medicaid and CHIP aren’t guaranteed access to health care

Even with insurance, children receive only about 68 percent of recommended care for acute problems

At the moment, the GOP is holding fast to their current political M.O., saying they are not going to compromise their position on health care. So while President Obama did get an increase in SCHIP funding for states, things aren’t looking good for our kids. But there is a way you can make your voice heard to try to change the minds of some of these lawmakers.

Please take a moment to go to site for Speak Now for Kids. Submit a video that will get sent to legislators, talk about this on Twitter and on Facebook, and send an E-mail to your lawmakers about your thoughts on making sure children’s health doesn’t slip through the cracks. And don’t forget to include your friends!

See how simple it is to be a political activist from the comfort of your own couch! And what better reason to become an activist than to make sure that no child goes without medical attention.

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