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?