Child Health Research Data & Publications
If any of us were forced to live in a desert we'd probably find trying to survive in a barren, desolate wasteland difficult. But through a series of public policies and private sector decisions, millions of mostly low-income and minority families in America have been condemned to subsist in vast urban "food deserts" that pose serious health threats to their children.
I love to share a story shared with me about my dear friend and mentor Rev. William Sloane Coffin, Jr. It was Christmas Eve and the pews at New York City's Riverside Church were packed.
A theologian friend shared the story of taking her car to a Jiffy Lube for servicing. Not having anything to read, she picked up a manual on the coffee table about boating. A chapter on the rules for what happens when boats encounter one another on the open sea described two kinds of craft: burdened and privileged. The craft with power that can accelerate and push its way through the waves, change direction, and stop on demand is the burdened one. The craft dependent on the forces of nature, wind, tide, and human effort to keep going is the privileged craft.
A convenient reference to guide your holiday conversations about child health reform.
On November 4, 2009, about 4,000 babies in strollers, young children, parents, youths, teachers, child care providers, doctors, and grandparents rallied and strolled all around our U.S. Capitol. We told Congress that millions of children must not be left worse off after health reform and that the effective and cost effective Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) should be kept and improved rather than eliminated as the House health reform bill would do.
Health reform bills pending in the House and the Senate would make millions of children worse off after health reform than they are now. This must not happen. The House bill eliminates the successful Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in 2013 and would move millions of children who had been in CHIP to a completely new, untested and far more expensive Health Insurance Exchange where parents will end up paying more for their children to receive fewer assured benefits.
What is a child's life worth? What is a child's health worth? What is a child's spirit, battered by preventable suffering and chronic disease, worth? What are a child's hope and ability to learn worth? What are the true values of the world's richest nation that is so spiritually poor that it even debates whether it can afford to give all its children the basic right to health care?
In 1931, Grace Abbott, the Chief of the U.S. Children's Bureau, gave a speech about her long and frustrating workdays in our nation's capital trying to advocate for children's needs. She said she felt all alone standing with her baby carriage on the sidewalk watching a great traffic jam moving toward the Capitol where Congress sits.
This factsheet provides a statistical breakdown of the uninsured child population in America, including by race/ethnicity, age, income, citizenship and state.
For many people of faith who care about children's needs, the third weekend of October is a special celebration. Each year, on this weekend, thousands of churches, synagogues, mosques and temples across the country hold special worship services, education programs and advocacy activities to engage people of faith in the lives of children and their families.