Healthcare program needs support
President George Bush, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, presidential candidates and members of Congress are all discussing how to extend health coverage to uninsured children by reauthorizing the State Children's Health Insurance Program (known as HealthWave in Kansas).
That's important, but it's critical we remember that this isn't about politics. Thousands of parents are troubled every day about not having health insurance for their children.
HealthWave was created for uninsured children younger than 19 years of age, living in households at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Within the first year, 15,500 of those children and teens were found eligible for the state program. In addition, through HealthWave outreach efforts, an additional 17,000 previously uninsured Kansas children were found to be eligible. At the end of 2006, more than 37,000 state children were enrolled to receive the program's benefits.
For the past 10 years, HealthWave has provided a safety net for many hardworking families who are either not offered health insurance for their children by their employer or can't afford private insurance. If Congress does not provide sufficient funding for the State Children's Health Insurance Program, millions of children who desperately need health insurance will remain uninsured.
The Kansas State Nursing Association is joining thousands of people nationwide to highlight the success of the federal program and demonstrate the need for its reauthorization during April 23 to 29, which has been designated Cover the Uninsured Week.
President of the Kansas State Nurses Association