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MLK Jr Day – Health Care “Dream” for Idaho

January 21, 2008

Boise, ID – A dream that focuses on what's best for children. That's what Idahoans should keep in mind during Human Rights Day today, says a friend of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Children's health care, immigration and racism are among many topics to be discussed this week in Boise during events scheduled in commemoration of the civil rights leader.

Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children's Defense Fund, worked with Dr. King in the 1960s. She says all adults have a role to play in making sure children grow up healthy and successful.

"Let them see that they can rely on us adults. Let our nation show that we will take care of our smallest citizens and give them their basic needs."

Edelman says access to health care is one basic need that is still unmet: About 9 million children nationwide have no health insurance. According to state statistics, more than 44,000 Idaho kids lack health insurance coverage. Without it, Edelman notes, families often experience other stressful situations, such as homelessness or food insecurity.

"Children don't learn in school if they are in emotional turmoil, and have no place to stay, and have no health care, and have all these losses that are undealt with."

Events commemorating MLK Day are listed online, at news.boisestate.edu.

Deborah Smith/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - ID