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'The Business of Health Care Report'

Children Going Without Health Care Is Prescription For Failure

I’m Doug Hawthorne, president and CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”

There’s a continuing health care crisis in this country – providing health care for our children. One-third of uninsured children in America went without any sort of medical care in 2003, according to a recent report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Seven out of 10 uninsured children eligible for public programs were not enrolled.

Here’s what’s at stake: Studies show that children without health care coverage miss more days of school, perform below average and suffer more chronic health conditions than their insured counterparts. And often, when uninsured children get sick, they are sicker for a longer time, and their hospital stays are extended.

Steps to expand health coverage via Medicaid, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (known as CHIP) and other programs have helped, but something is wrong when 70 percent of children who are eligible for low-cost or free health care coverage are not signed up.

Here’s what you can do to help. If you or anyone you know has children who lack health care coverage, call TexCare at 1-800-647-6558, that’s 1-800-647-6558 for information about the Texas Children’s Health Insurance Program and Medicaid to see if assistance is available.

If we can keep more of our children healthier through programs already in place, shouldn’t we make the effort?

For Texas Health Resources and its faith-based hospitals – Harris Methodist, Presbyterian and Arlington Memorial – I’m Doug Hawthorne with “The Business of Health Care Report.”

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