The Children's Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. Full Mission Statement »
Huge Victory for America's Children! But We Must Be Vigilant!
The Children’s Defense Fund is deeply grateful for the huge victory for 37 million low-income children and children with disabilities, their parents and millions of other vulnerable adults. The Republican Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal bill in the House of Representatives thankfully lacked enough votes to destroy Medicaid and the ACA’s coverage of essential health benefits. It was never brought to a vote. The repeal bill, the American Health Care Act, utterly failed the first test of medicine to “Do No Harm.” Now House Republicans are back talking about ways to pass the bill by making the bad bill even worse. Our message to Congress remains the same: “Do No Harm” to children’s health coverage. Thanks in large part to the ACA, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) today 95 percent of America’s children have health coverage — a record high. We cannot afford to move backwards.
For the first time, this report shows that by investing an additional 2 percent of the federal budget into existing programs and policies that increase employment, make work pay, and ensure children’s basic needs are met, the nation could reduce child poverty by 60 percent and lift 6.6 million children out of poverty.
The United States has the second highest child poverty rate among 35 industrialized countries despite having the largest economy in the world. A child in the United States has a 1 in 5 chance of being poor and the younger she is the poorer she is likely to be. A child of color, who will be in the majority of U.S. children in 2020, is more than twice as likely to be poor as a White child. This is unacceptable and unnecessary. Growing up poor has lifelong negative consequences, decreasing the likelihood of graduating from high school and increasing the likelihood of becoming a poor adult, suffering from poor health, and becoming involved in the criminal justice system. These impacts cost the nation at least half a trillion dollars a year in lost productivity and increased health and crime costs. Letting a fifth of our children grow up poor prevents them from having equal opportunities to succeed in life and robs the nation of their future contributions.
Happy, Healthy and Ready to Learn: Insure All Children! Toolkit
If asking parents this simple question could help ensure children stay healthier, do better in school, and even save a child's life, should schools do it? More and more districts around the country are answering with a resounding yes! CDF and AASA, The School Superintendents Association, have just released Happy, Healthy and Ready to Learn: Insure All Children! a toolkit to help schools and districts connect children to health care coverage as part of routine school enrollment. The toolkit offers a clear set of steps, useful tools, tips and lessons learned that we hope superintendents, school districts, teachers and parents across the country will embrace and make connecting uninsured children to health coverage through schools routine in America. Get started now to help #InsureAllChildren.
Having health insurance makes a huge difference for children in school. Schools can make a difference by identifying uninsured students and connecting them to health insurance.
Hear U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell and U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. speak about the importance of this work at the event highlighting the Happy, Healthy and Ready to Learn: Insure All Children! toolkit by CDF and AASA, The School Superintendents Association. Get started today!