Apple Health for Kids received a welcome booster shot this week when House budget writers rejected the proposed elimination of coverage for 27,000 children.
And, leaders in the House mentioned children’s health as a priority on par with funding for basic education. We agree. The state constitution entitles all kids to a basic education. In order to learn, kids need to be healthy -- and not hungry or held back by poverty.
Before the creation of Apple Health for Kids in 2007, children’s health coverage was treated as an investment that the state made in good times and cut in bad times. Advocates for kids are working hard this year to make that rollercoaster a relic of the past.
Apple Health for Kids is a successful and popular program which now covers 713,000 of our state’s children. Because of it, we have made tremendous progress in reducing the number of children without health coverage.
Washington state is a national leader in health care for kids because of Apple Health. The federal government has recognized our success by awarding the state over $25 million in new federal dollars in the last two years.
In a time of crisis and major reductions in support for children, families and other vulnerable populations, signs of hope like this are worth noting and building upon.