What’s right with health care reform……


According to my friend, Joan Alker of the Georgetown Center for Children and Families, one of the least discussed aspects of the Affordable Care Act (dubbed ‘Obamacare’ by dissenters) is one of the most popular:  the expansion of Medicaid to cover low-income adults. The Kaiser Family Foundation published a poll last week reflecting a full 70% of those polled favor this aspect of health care reform. Given all the negative we hear about the ACA, it is useful to have a complete picture that includes those portions either working now (such as access to their parents’ insurance for young adults up to age 26) and those portions proposed that the public supports (such as Medicaid expansion).

Reasons Medicaid remains a popular program to the public-at-large:

  • Medicaid does not discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions.  In fact, those who have been turned down by private insurers due to pre-existing conditions in the past often turned to Medicaid for help.
  • Medicaid is cost-effective and spends less on administrative costs than private health insurance plans.
  • Medicaid provides comprehensive coverage that includes the definitive standard of care recommended by pediatricians known as Early Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT).

Once again, the public seems to be very able to consider what benefits Americans. Let’s not allow political-speak from any ‘talking heads’ to give us only partial information.

Child Well-being in Oklahoma: Oxymoron?

According to the latest publications on child well-being state by state, Oklahoma is not doing so ‘well’:

Oklahoma’s domain rankings were:

  • 43rd in family economic well-being,
  • 41st in health well-being,
  • 47th in safe/risky behavior (levels of crime and use of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs),
  • 38th in educational attainment,
  • 44th in community engagement (working, school engagement, and voting among young adults),
  • 49th in social relationships (percentage of children who have moved recently), and
  • 11th in emotional/spiritual well-being (suicide rate and religious attachment).

The Legislature is now in Session. A top priority is tax cuts which may only add damage to these statistics as services are cut. Oklahomans are a hard working, self-reliant people. We belief in self-responsibility. However, babies and vulnerable children and youth cannot control these factors. State leaders, advocates, and Legislators must step up to provide for a healthy, stable future for our families so that we can thrive in our independence.