Bridging the Health Gap for Oregon Kids
Thursday, January 25, 2007
There's a gaping divide between the haves and the have-nots when it comes to the health of Oregon children, according to a new report from Children First for Oregon. Cathy Kaufmann with Children First says it shows children in rural areas, or in low-income families, or belonging to ethnic minorities have less access to quality health care and are more likely to be in poor health.
"Rural areas in Oregon have high rates of poverty, extremely high rates of child un-insurance. In fact, they're almost
double the rates that they are for children statewide."
Kauffman believes it's primarily about money.
"Family income is one of the strongest determinants of child health from the lowest economic step through the highest.
If you're middle class, the health of your children is likely to be less good than that of wealthier families."
In his State of the Union address, President Bush announced a proposal to give tax deductions to help defray the cost of health insurance, but Kaufmann says many families still won't be able to afford it. She adds a better solution is to expand the Children's Health Insurance Program, and provide more grants to help states subsidize insurance coverage like the plan currently under consideration in the Oregon legislature that would cover all the state's children.
The report is online at www.childrenfirstfororegon.org.
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