Child Watch® Columns
Child Watch Columns: Children's Health
It’s back. The assault on our children’s health coverage has been resurrected for a final last-minute attempt at passage and is even more dangerous and cruel than ever. The latest Graham (R-SC)-Cassidy (R-LA) revision of the health repeal bill feels like a Halloween movie cliché with a zombie-like villain that refuses to die if its threats to children, seniors, and more of America’s most vulnerable weren’t so deadly serious.
We know what to do to end child poverty if we want to in rich America. The U.S. Census Bureau reported this week that the number of children in poverty declined slightly again for the second year, but that children shamefully are still our poorest age group.
Now 20 years after CHIP put an entire generation of children on the path to a healthy adulthood, we stand at another pivotal moment: Unless Congress takes action, funding for this essential, popular, highly successful program will end after September 30, 2017. Without this funding millions of children could lose health coverage or pay more for less comprehensive coverage, leaving millions of children significantly worse off than they are today.
President Lyndon B. Johnson said this fifty-two years ago on July 30, 1965 as he signed the bipartisan legislation that established the federal Medicaid Program and thanked former President Harry S. Truman and the many members of Congress from both parties who had laid the groundwork and worked tirelessly over many years to make the Medicaid program and its protections reality.
As Senate Republicans spent the last few days in closed door meetings frantically trying to plot new ways to achieve their wretched plans to destroy the Affordable Care Act and end Medicaid as we know it, hundreds of people of faith spent our week gathered at the annual Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry to rekindle our shared conviction that all great religious traditions call us to acts of love and justice especially for children who are impoverished, vulnerable, marginalized and excluded and to renew our deep and shared commitment to resisting evil and injustice with unrelenting determined nonviolent action.
Past Child Watch® Columns about Children's Health