The Future is Now!

More than 22 percent of Oklahoma children live in poverty in homes where the annual income is less than $22,350 for a family of four, Census data shows. Of the households that receive food stamps (SNAP) in Oklahoma, 58.1 percent have children under the age of 18.

I doubt these statistics are much better in most  other states.

As Congress works to control and re-affirm the federal budget and as other states try to balance the huge fiscal holes they face, let us remember that these children who are the future of our country will not only inherit massive debt if that is what we leave them, but they will also have developed less potential to address whatever their reality may be if we do not feed, cloth, and educated them NOW!

Woe, to be a child in America…..

According to US Treasury Secretary, in the U.S. today , 40% of children born each year are covered by Medicaid. If you are born today in hard-pressed communities in many American cities, like St. Louis or Baltimore, you are more likely to die before your first birthday than if you were born in Sri Lanka or Belarus.

Yet Congress and the States are focusing on Medicaid cuts, now that seniors, hospitals, and physicians have rallied again Medicare cuts.

I am all for system reform. HOWEVER, please distinguish between the child utilizers of Medicaid (57%) and the total amount of Medicaid funds used (only 21% for children) and possible duplication or need for reform in other parts of the system. I am also for fairness, including revenue enhancements as needed to fulfill our destiny to “care for the poor and orphaned”.

Once again, children do not have a loud voice in policy discussions and cannot adequately defend themselves from fiscal assault….or any other injustice which sent them into the Medicaid system in first place.

A Boon for Women

(Reposted from National Journal 5.11.11)

As the health care reform package took shape on Capitol Hill, some touted the positive effect it would have on women’s health needs. Turns out, they were right. Under the reform law, health coverage will expand to nearly all uninsured women, with protections to keep costs low, according to a Commonwealth Fund report out Wednesday. An estimated 27 million women, ages 19-64, were uninsured for all or part of 2010, the report states.