Top of the morning

The debate in North Carolina this legislative session about Health Choice, the program that provides health care for low-income children, is about freezing enrollment or dropping some kids from the program to help balance the state budget.

That may not seem surprising, given that the state is facing a $4.6 billion budget shortfall. But almost every state is facing budget problems, and the New York Times reports many of them are expanding children’s health care anyway, including Alabama.

Alabama State Senator Roger Bedford explained it to the Times this way.

Our economy is tough here. But our decision was to fund the health care needs of our children because a healthy child learns better and they don’t show up at the emergency room needing acute care.

The North Carolina economy is tough too. But our kids get sick and need to see a doctor, recession or not. If other states with huge budget problems can invest more in children’s health care, why can’t we?

One Comment

  1. Lucy Gorham

    July 23, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Funding children’s health insurance should be looked at as an investment in our kids’ and our state’s future for just the reasons noted — children do better in school and have fewer health problems that show up in the emergency room now or as adults mid-to-longer term. If NC doesn’t understand this calculus, it’s going to continue to apply this stop and start approach to essential services. We are shooting ourselves in the foot, folks, let’s wake up and fund a program that is both fiscally and ethically sound.