If you really believe the LaVar Christensen/John Swallow "family values" rhetoric is not just code for anti-gays and anti-abortion, then why is our pro-family state allowing this to happen?
The number of Utah's uninsured children, up to and including the age of 18, rose by 18,200 from 71,300 in 2005 to 89,500 in 2006. Meanwhile, the number of adults, ages 19 to 64, who lacked health insurance declined from 221,600 to 220,100.
"The increase is almost exclusively among children," said Norman Thurston, health economist for the state agency. "Most of that increase is among kids under 200 percent of the federal poverty level."
You can believe in Social Darwinism (which is a load of crock by the way) and still support universal health care for children. It is not the fault of children that their parents are too poor to afford health care for them.
The Legislature this year appropriated $4 million to allow an additional 12,000 children to be insured through CHIP starting July 2, he said.
Enrollment in CHIP, for which children living under 200 percent of the poverty level — roughly $40,000 for a family of four — are eligible, has been closed since last September because of a lack of funding, he said. CHIP currently provides insurance for an average of 35,000 children.
"It's definitely not good news for kids," Karen Crompton, executive director for Voices for Utah Children, said of the report. "It does highlight the fact of what happens when you have CHIP closed."
While the Legislature's CHIP appropriation is a good start, she said, more needs to be done to make sure all eligible children can access the publicly funded health insurance program.
"Kids need coverage 365 days a year," she said. "It's about immunizing on time, about well-baby check-ups, about getting glasses kids need if they can't see the blackboard."
Karen Crompton ran for SL County Mayor against Nancy Workman the first time around. Al Gore proposed universal health care for children by 2004 when he ran in 2000. Every Democrat running for president has supported expanding CHIP programs, so why can't American children get health insurance?
To me, family values are helping families stay together strongly. That means sick leave, maternity/paternity leave, flex time, virtual commuting, clean air, clean water, quality education, safe neighborhoods, health care for working families and all children, tax reform for working families, and living wages. It seems when Republicans talk about family values, what they are really saying it "Dobson's agenda," which has very little to do with actually making life better for families.
And one would think that here in Utah, with the highest percentage of the population under 18, we would truly put children first. And not behind big business, anti-arbortion, anti-gay zealotry.