Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Children's Health Care

(from The Office of Government Relations and the Episcopal Public Policy Network)

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:40

There are now 8.7 million uninsured children in the United States — in the richest nation in the world. They are rural, urban, and suburban. They are American Indian, Asian/Pacific Islander, Black, Hispanic and White. They live in every family type, although a majority live in two-parent families; and almost 90 percent of them live in a household with one or both parents working.

There is a serious gap in our current health insurance system for children — children who do not qualify for Medicaid, but whose parents cannot afford private health insurance. For many families with children who fall into this category the State’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is their safety net.

By every measure, SCHIP has been a strong success as a program passed by a Democratic President and Republican Congress, with broad support among state governors of both parties. SCHIP’s six million participants demonstrate improved health outcomes and performance in school. Overall the program has, in the past 10 years, decreased the number of uninsured children by one-third. With votes from Republicans, Democrats and Independents, Congress recently overwhelmingly passed legislation to continue present coverage and expand it to more uninsured children. However, on October 3, 2007, President Bush vetoed that legislation.

SCHIP provides government-financed care delivered through public and private services. Far from “government-run healthcare,” this SCHIP reauthorization bill is simply a straightforward and sensible way to cover millions more children who currently are uninsured.

Our faith calls us to advocate for health coverage for all children living in America. Our nation permits every child to attend public schools. A child’s right to live, grow, and thrive should not depend on the circumstances of his or her birth. Children without adequate health coverage cannot fully benefi t from their education and reach their full potential.

Many children and families in your community face significant barriers to health care. Now is the time to rally around our nation’s best investment, our children, by calling for the achievable, smart, and right goal: health care coverage for children.


Almighty God, Heavenly Father, you have blessed us with the joy and care of children: Give us calm strength and patient wisdom as we bring them up, that we may teach them to love whatever is just and true and good, following the example of our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. Book of Common Prayer 830


Find out what you can do locally to support children’s health, from volunteering to help register children for SCHIP to contacting your member of Congress to urge them to keep the SCHIP program strong.

For more information on SCHIP and the challenge of children’s healthcare: Episcopal Public Policy Network http:/

More coverage, and Presiding Bishop’s comment:

or visit the Children's Defense Fund: Healthy Child Campaign

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