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Just in time for Mother’s Day, some good news for our nation’s children and their parents:  More children have health insurance coverage today than at any point in our nation’s history!  Despite the severe economic downturn, continued erosion of employer sponsored coverage, and political stalemate in our nation’s capitol, our children have made significant gains in coverage due to dramatic investments in two major public coverage programs for children, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, (CHIP).

These gains have not happened in a vacuum, but have occurred because of strategic and collaborative work of policy advocates, state and federal leaders, and concerned citizens, like moms and dads.  A new publication  just released by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation  and Mathematica Policy Research on the impact of children’s health care coverage advocacy in the states provides valuable insights and lessons about how we can continue to work together effectively on behalf of our nation’s children.

These gains are not abstract.  They've made our children healthier and our families more economically secure. For example,  MomsRising member Linda writes,

“My son with Down syndrome had open heart surgery this past summer, without Medicaid, the out of pocket cost would have forced us to sell our house.  We shouldn't have to choose between medical attention or our home for our children.”

And MomsRising member Kassandra writes,

“My son was born at 40 weeks and 6 days. I expected a completely healthy normal baby when he arrived. Instead, I got a baby with blood sugar issues and possible NEC. I watched as a new mother as my son was poked and prodded, had x-rays and many other tests done. 10 days later he was given a bill of good health and allowed to leave the NICU. Those were so very scary days but I would have been even worse had I not had Medicaid to help our already struggling new family. His bill for those 10 days was over 30,000 dollars. My husband and I both work but that would have broken us. Financially, emotionally and physically trying to work like a dog to pay it off month by month. We are forever grateful to Medicaid for helping us bring home a happy healthy baby and not putting us into debt.”

These stories and the data about coverage demonstrate that we're on the right track and we need to keep these programs strong.  Success in children's health coverage can provide a roadmap for other advocates working to secure a better future for our nation's children.

This Mother’s Day, let’s celebrate the power of our nation’s families to ensure that every child has the access to the health care they need for a healthy start in life.

To find out more about health care coverage available in your state, check out

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