Dr. Jennifer DeVoe of the Oregon Health and Science University dug into data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) from 2002 to 2005. In the data, Dr. DeVoe discovered that, even with one parent that had health insurance through work, 3.3% percent of children were uninsured or underinsured at some point during a year – equal to about 2.3 million children with no health coverage.
Edelman, President and Founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, sets out the case for investing in the Human Capital of Kids.
The title of her book comes from a saying that’s claimed by Scottish and Swedish fisherman; John F. Kennedy and Jimmy Carter reputedly had this motto on their desks.
Edelman sees the rough sea that Americans are facing — particularly children.
Without investing in the human capital of children, Edelman (and many others) believes that the U.S. will erode to a second-rate economy and power.
Governors are facing growing demand for Medicaid services on the public side of health insurance. In the private sector, employers are clamping down on health insurance costs through increasing employee contributions — which effectively erodes kids’ coverage even when parents are covered.
As we look to make strategic investments in the tight economy, covering health insurance for all children is one pillar of a sound approach for economic stimulus — an investment in both the short and long-term.