What is essential for kids & families?
Equitable, accessible and ethical health care is an essential safeguard of human life. Anyone engaged in the daily care of a child with special heath care needs is well aware of the strains of inadequate health insurance coverage places on families.
I work with families on a daily basis and most of the WA families I serve have to make hard spending choices and difficult sacrifices to ensure that their children have adequate care. Some families who are working hard to make ends meet are making choices to pay rent late in order to buy food or pay their utility bills. For these families Apple Health for Kids has been a blessing. Now they do not have to consider placing their children at high risk or adverse outcomes due to lack of health insurance.
Health Insurance is essential for all children, and especially so for those with special health care needs. Apple Health for kids allows children to access diagnostic testing, primary care, specialty care, hospital services, prescription drugs, therapies, durable medical equipment and supplies, hearing aids and other health-related services. Access to these services is critical for detecting health problems, preventing the deterioration of physical or mental health, and maximizing a child’s potential to learn, play and develop with his or her peers.
If Apple Health for Kids is taken away, it will force families to become “poor” just so they can qualify for Medicaid. Right now, I am hearing stories from parents being told by “others” that they might have to divorce or one spouse will have to quit work in order for them to receive or keep their children’s insurance coverage. Families should be encouraged to stay together and believe in the American Dream. Pushing families into further financial hardship and medical debt is not the answer.
I know from personal experience what a difference can be made when access to appropriate health care resources are provided. I am a parent of three children. Two of my children have special health care needs. I understand the needs of families struggling to make sense of the health care maze and simultaneously, go to work, and care for their children.
Please do not cut Apple Heath for Kids.
Julie Finholm, Family to Family Health Information Center
Family Voices of WA
Children’s Alliance Advocate
Read more stories from the Kids Are Essential Storybook