Emma Walsh-Alker and Mr. Parodi’s 5th grade class
CCF Blogger Joan Alker has been working on children’s issues for over twenty years. When thinking about why children’s health needs deserve more attention in health reform, she decided to seek out experts on the topic – her daughter and fellow 5th grade classmates in a D.C. public school. Her daughter, Emma, is an experienced blogger and wrote the following entry about her mother’s visit to her classroom.
Last week my mom came to my class (I’m in 5th grade) to discuss the important issue of why children especially should have health care coverage. Everyone contributed ideas to the discussion; and their ideas about the problems caused by not having health care ranged from doing worse in school, spread of sicknesses, quality of life, and costs of hospitals being so high. Below are ten reasons, (not in order of significance) that we came up with: (well, actually we came up with more…but we didn’t want you to drift off.)
1. Kameron: Children like to play games – for example, tag and hide-and-go-seek, which are both touching games. This means transmission of germs.
2. Shaniah: Sometimes, when parents lose their jobs, their kids lose access to medicine, which they need to survive.
3. Max: Children shouldn’t be dying from such simple things like teeth or chickenpox. Children with health care coverage are most likely to grow up and get a fine education, and then the job they’ve always wanted.
4. Alicia: Not having health coverage can affect the child’s education. For instance, let’s say recently the child went to the hospital and the bill was very high. The next day, the child comes home from school and needs $10 for a school field trip. The parents cannot afford to pay for the field trip if they wanted to be able to pay the bill from the hospital.
5. Zahra: All kids should have health care coverage because kids have the weaker immune systems and can have more damage done to their bodies than adults.
6. Bakari: Another big reason that kids need health coverage is that if they cannot get vaccinations, then they die or get a disability.
7. Jonah: Having no health care decreases quality of life because you spend your time in a bed or at a hospital and not able to do the things you want to do.
8. Sam: Having disabilities and dying does not give kids a chance to unleash their full potential, which worsens the quality of their life. This affects future society for the worse.
9. Devin: Parents should not be paying thousands of dollars because their children need medical attention.
10. Karla: Another example why kids should have health care coverage is so kids would get the medicines they need. Without this, kids would get sicker and miss days of school, which causes them not to learn much.
Not being covered affects so many things in a child’s life, and we as a society need to make sure that all kids are able to go to the doctor and receive the coverage they need.