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Health Coverage For Children

kid-kleenexIt can be overwhelming to follow the ups and downs of the health care reform legislation debate: that’s why it is so important to find and share resources that make advocacy easier.

One facet of the health care reform debate that isn’t getting a lot of media attention is the CHIP (Childrens Health Insurance Program), a health coverage program for children in low-income families. The current version of the health care bill being debated in the Senate does not provide any funding for the CHIP program after 2013. This means that 10 million children nationwide (including 700,000 here in California) would be moved to a new, untested and more expensive Health Insurance Exchange where families will end up paying more for fewer benefits for their children.

At St. Anthony Foundation, we see the effects of the lack of adequate health coverage on low-income families every day.  Our free medical clinic serves 600 children every year; we provide the only free pediatric clinic in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood.

National child welfare organizations First Focus and the Children’s Defense Fund have more information about the CHIP program and health care reform issues related to children.  If you’d like to contact your Senator about children’s health insurance and the CHIP program, the United Way of America has a helpful resource on their website that makes it easy to phone your Senator and make your voice heard.

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