One of the reasons I care so much about what is going on politically in regards to healthcare in this country is the impact it has on children. Poor in America have enough trouble feeding their children. If they can’t afford to live they can’t afford healthcare. Without adequate healthcare, they are more likely to have a need for medical care and it needs to be affordable.
There are over 45.7 Million Americans living in poverty. Can you imagine a family of four living on $23, 550 and having to obtain medical insurance on a competitive market? An individual in poverty makes a max of $11, 490 annually and if put on a high risk pool would have to pay more in premiums for healthcare. I ask you how, on what? This might be a single father. This is a reality for 13.5% of Americans.
Let’s assume economists are wrong and that no recession is going to happen in the next several years so things won’t get worse for those at poverty level. Let’s assume that no one else loses a job and falls into the poverty level and some come out of it. We are still talking about 13.5 % of our country’s population. Currently Medicaid (for those at poverty level and children) combined with CHIP (special insurance program only children are eligible that have parents that make slightly too much for Medicaid and it is administered by State government) have nearly 70 million people on these plans, 1 in 5 people in our country!
Keeping that number in mind, is it any wonder protestors are shouting in the street that a Medical Care Plan in existence can’t be pulled out without being replaced immediately for the poor in society? Children that are sick deserve treatment. This is not an uncivilized country that we live in that should be calling on the United Nations or Mission Trips from foreign counties to help sick children needing medical attention. There is enough money in America to care for medical care for youth and their care-takers/parents.
What psychological effect does it have on children to see their parents ill and not getting help? Having a chronic illness is grueling. Not being able to get treated for it is worse. That is a stress on an entire family but on a child, to try to process it is very hard. These children have a hard enough life living in poverty. Our nation should have some sort of obligation to its youth. They deserve at least medical care and a parent that loves them to be around and support them. There are not enough parents to go around to foster these children.
If the issue isn’t addressed, know that there are currently 400,000 children in the foster care system in the United States. It is not without its problems finding good homes to foster children. 100,000 of these children are looking for adoptive homes. Thus, the children whose parents need medical insurance, if it is cut and they can’t afford it, Republicans must feel their life has no value. There lies a greater question, are Republicans putting these children in poverty homes into a foster care home?
The foster care system is already well over a $22 Billion dollar program of tax payers money. Even with continued reforms, children that have been placed in this system suffer at least one form of abuse. Many experts say the system is beyond hope and needs to be completely abolished. I was shocked to learn 74% of inmates have been in the foster care system and 80% of all prisoners on death row have been in this system as well!
As a nation with so many youth in poverty-stricken homes, until that changes, knowing health is a major factor in all areas of life, politicians must make healthcare affordable for the least of our brothers and sisters. I am not saying which system is best, which plan, I simply know penalzing those that are chronically ill isn’t the answer. They already are spending money continually on medication. Their life is already lived at half-mast. Why would our government want to knock them down more? Certainly there are other ways to save money besides making children lose their live, their parents or their grandparents prematurely? Even middle-income Americans struggle with insurance premiums and drug costs. How in the world can a unwed mother on a minimum wage afford increases on Medical family policies?
We must, as a nation, recognize we have fought wars side by side against enemies. We have waved our flag to stand united during war times and joyful celebrations. To turn our back on neighbors that are fellow Americans simply because they don’t make as much money is not only un-American but cruel. Simply because their lot in life is less does not mean their life has less value in God’s eyes. Certainly we can band together and support that medical advances are for everyone’s benefit, most especially for children. They deserve to have their parents healthy and their lives free from disease.
We are the world, yes we all are the children.