Tuesday, July 31, 2007

In America, Healthcare for Kids should be No-Brainer

Forty-five million. That’s a pretty large number, especially when it refers to human lives. It’s more than seven-times the number of people in our state. And sadly, it’s the number of Americans in this country without any kind of health insurance. There is, without a single doubt, a major healthcare crisis in this country.

Recent reports show that there are an estimated 9 million children without health coverage living in the United States of America. This embarrassing statistic makes it hard to believe that we live in the richest, most powerful country in the world. In Missouri alone some 117,000 children are uninsured – enough children to fill 2,200 yellow school busses. Fortunately, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is up for renewal in the Senate this week, and we have the chance to make real progress for kids. Additional funding included in the proposal would allow Missouri (through MC+ for Kids) to continue covering those enrolled, while also expanding the program to cover many more still in need.

CHIP has proven to be an excellent investment of public resources. Health insurance leads to healthier kids, of course, but it pays dividends in other ways as well. One study found that children from low-income families did better in school after they'd received CHIP coverage. Covering children also saves money in the long-term by providing regular health care and prompt treatment that can prevent serious, chronic health problems.

While I’m optimistic about the possibility of expanding coverage to the millions of American children in need, I’m also extremely concerned that my Republican colleagues in the Senate will try to stop this bill in its tracks. Americans have witnessed the Republican tactics over the last several months as they tried to block almost every piece of legislation Democrats have introduced. They believe that their success is our failure, and, quite frankly, I’m getting tired of this partisan attitude. When this bill hits the floor of the Senate this week I sincerely hope that we can put politics aside and take a necessary step toward ending the healthcare crisis in this country.


the nitwit said...

Thank God we have a real Senator representing Missouri again. Go Claire!

Anonymous said...

WOW! An elected official who will stand up for "the least of these." Helping the sick and the poor - what direction is this country headed?

Anonymous said...

WOW! An elected official who will stand up for "the least of these." Helping the sick and the poor - what direction is this country headed?

Phil Cardarella said...

CHIP is a good step, and Claire should be commended for supporting it. It's hard to see a reasonable person opposing healthcare safetynet for children.

But let's not lose track of the real issue: CHIP and other programs are really just Rube Goldberg jerry-rigging. We need a rational universal national health care program, like every other advanced democratic nation. We spend a greater % of our GNP on health care -- and get the 34th best care!

Stephen Bough said...

National healthcare is the answer to many problems.

If GM & Ford are right, that healthcare costs add $1,500 to the cost of a new car, then how do we expect GM & Ford to compete with Honda and KIA. Health insurance is a huge issue for every small business in America. More importantly, in the richest country in the world, we allow drug companies to mandate public health policy. Providing care for the poor is 1) the right thing to do and 2) makes good economic sense. America can do things better than Canada, including national healthcare.

Congrats to Claire for standing up for sick children. Doesn't Blunt care about these kids, too?

steve glorioso said...

Well Silent Sam, as in Graves, finally speaks out and it is in favor of privatizing Medicare. First he is for privatizing Social Security and now Medicare. Children be damn according to Sam.