MomsRising.org Delivers the Real Story on Health Care Coverage for Kids
August 12, 2008
Moms Organization Presents California Legislators with Booklet of Stories Illustrating the Need for Universal Health Care Coverage for California Children to State Legislators
As California kids head back to school, California moms are urging legislators to “hit the books,” too, and learn why even in this tough budget year, it makes economic sense to provide health care coverage for all children. Today, MomsRising.org, the online grassroots organization for moms and everyone who has a mom, delivered a bound collection of personal stories from its California members about the importance of health care coverage for children. The booklets each contain 44 stories of California families who need or who have health care coverage.
“Providing health care coverage for all children is a fiscally sound policy that will ultimately save the state millions more dollars than it costs,” said MomsRising.org Executive Director Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner. “Right now, approximately 763,000 children in California have no health care coverage. That’s 763,000 kids who can’t get treatment for asthma, strep throat, diabetes or other common ailments without visiting emergency rooms and plunging their families into debt.”
A study of nine local Children's Health Initiatives (CHI) in California, conducted by the Center for Community Health Services at the University of Southern California, found that providing children health insurance reduced hospitalizations in the CHI counties by 25 percent and saved up to $7.35 million annually in preventable hospitalizations. If all low-income children had health insurance, the state could save $24.3 million per year in preventable hospitalizations.
Stories in the booklet, include the following:
My children Dane and Aubrey have both been on Medi-Cal while my husband, their dad, attends dental school full time at University of the Pacific in San Francisco and we work hard to make ends meet…
…But last March, Aubrey came down with a mysterious illness: a 104 degree fever, vomiting, and pain in her side. Two trips to the Emergency Room led her to treatment for a kidney infection. However, when her symptoms were uncontrollable, not responding to antibiotics and fever reducers, doctors admitted her to the pediatric ward, fearing she might also have appendicitis. Many needles, ultrasounds, urine samples, and a CaT scan later, doctors were finally able to make a full and thorough diagnosis -- and provide a treatment plan that worked…
…Thanks to Medi-Cal, I didn’t hesitate to seek medical attention as soon as I knew something was wrong -- so Aubrey was able to get the most effective care before her condition worsened or became more expensive to treat. I am so, so grateful for that.
-- Anjie, Sausalito, CA
… Healthy Families has been our savior with regards to keeping our son safely covered. When he fell and tore open his lip two months ago, thanks to Healthy Families I was able to simply call his pediatrician and ascertain that he did not need stitches rather than drag him to the emergency room. We still have money worries aplenty, but with Healthy Families we are able to sleep at night knowing our son's medical needs will be provided for.
-- Morgan, Pasadena, CA
… We were charged in excess of $2000 for 3 hours in the Emergency Room at Glendale Memorial Hospital. It was on a Sunday and our pediatrician wasn't in the office to give us a prescription for a steroid we needed to help our son. He had a bad case of the croup which had been diagnosed the day before in the same pediatrician's office! We didn't need to go to the hospital. We'd been through a case of the croup before. We recognized all the signs and knew what we needed. But due to liability issues, our pediatrician wouldn't give us the prescription over the phone. So essentially, we were charged $2200 for an office visit at the hospital.
-- Amber, Los Angeles, CA
When my son was 12 years old, he got appendicitis. If I had had a health plan, he would have gone to the doctor immediately for a "tummy ache" and vomiting. We cared for him all weekend, but by Monday morning, when he still couldn't keep anything down, I took him to the doctor as soon as his office opened. Fortunately, our wonderful Dr. Sachs was willing to see my children and bill me later. Still, by the time we took him in, his appendix had ruptured. His office called the local hospital a few blocks away, and was told that unless we had $5,000.00 cash to give them on admission, they would not treat him. We drove that terribly sick boy in terrible pain 25 miles through LA traffic to the county hospital where some of my neighbors were residents. They saved his life, and let me pay over the next several years.
-- Joann, Los Angeles, CA
I am a doctor in an Emergency Room in California. EVERY DAY I see patients that have either delayed going to the doctor because they have no insurance and are now really sick, or tell me they won't be able to get the antibiotics I am prescribing, or actually leave without being seen for a very serious matter when they are told what the bill may be. Many people across the country just have to come to the ER because we can't turn them away while an office practice can. Which means they get a bill for 1000 dollars instead of one hundred dollars for the same treatment.
-- Andrea, Ukiah, CA
The booklet delivery is part of MomsRising.org’s ongoing effort, in collaboration with The 100% Campaign, to encourage the California legislature to include universal health care coverage for children in health care reform. The 100% Campaign is a collaborative effort of Children Now, Children's Defense Fund, and The Children's Partnership.