August 1, 2017 | by Krista Scott and Mia Coward, Child Care Aware® of America
Many parents use August to prepare for the school year and cross many tasks off their list—school supplies, nailing down schedules, new clothes, and converting the family mindset from summer vacation to the school routine.
At Child Care Aware® of America, there is one more task. And you should add it to the top of your list, because it affects school readiness.
Health care for your children!
We know that early childhood education and child care are vital for the success of our children. But we also know that having access to health coverage is how many children and families are able to live day-to-day without worry about getting sick and not being able to see a doctor. Parents can’t just dump those concerns back on school employees. Parents may also find themselves juggling early child care for one or more of their younger children and school for others. Whether focusing on early child care, school, or both, the parent must protect health care access.
Every parent of school-age children faces a different situation, but many can’t afford to neglect health care on the “back to school” list.
In July of this year, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA), which would change or eliminate major provisions of the federal health care law. This bill could fundamentally change Medicaid and end the expansion program that many states have taken advantage of by capping annual costs for states and slashing funds by hundreds of billions of dollars over 10 years. The future of the law remains in doubt, but it has been put forward, and McConnell is a powerful player.
So what does this mean for parents, their children, and respective health care coverage? According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Medicaid covers nearly 40 percent of all children in the United States, 76 percent of children from low-income households, and 60 percent of all children with disabilities. It also covers about half of all births in the country.
So, as the new school year approaches, it’s time to take action and put that health care concern at the top of your list so we can protect the 30 million children at risk.
What You Can Do
We invite you to take action today and make your voice heard on this important issue!