Healthy Children Lobby Day

SAVE THE DATE – June 9, 2010

During this time of economic hardship, we must pull together and advocate for the fundamental programs that keep our children healthy. Please join The Covenant with North Carolina’s Children on June 9th for a day of action to promote children’s health in the General Assembly. We’ll call on our state leaders to maintain funding for critical children’s health services, including NC Health Choice and Infant Mortality Prevention.

When: Wednesday, June 9, 8:30 AM – 2:00 PM

Where: Legislative Portico (outside, on the back of the legislative building next to the bridge)

Why:  When economic times are tough, the state has a responsibility to protect the health and safety of the most vulnerable and to focus on what works. The General Assembly needs to prioritize the health of North Carolina’s children by funding:

  • Critical, proven infant mortality prevention programs, and
  •  Health Choice, the state’s successful children’s health insurance program

Support Funding to Prevent Infant Deaths
In 1988, North Carolina had the worst infant mortality rate in the country at 12.6 deaths for every 1,000 births. In response, the Governor and legislature put into place a variety of measures that helped to reduce the mortality rate by 35 percent over the next two decades. Unfortunately, decisions made over the past year have dismantled many of these successful programs. The General Assembly needs to preserve the remaining mortality reduction programs.

Insure More Children
Since 1998, N.C. Health Choice has been providing access to high-quality health care for children in low-income working families. Over 130,000 children are currently enrolled. The rapid and drastic loss of employer-based coverage, however, coupled with job loss from the recession, means that the need is increasing faster now than ever. There are currently more than 100,000 children eligible but not enrolled. Raising the enrollment cap will allow N.C. to:

  • Cover 8,000 more children: If the Legislature approved the Governor’s proposed $8.5 million expansion to Health Choice, the state could enroll an estimated 8,000 more children at a time when the need is great for many North Carolina families. North Carolina has experienced the 4th largest percentage drop in employer-based health insurance coverage since 2000.
  • Receive $25.5 million in federal funds. Each state dollar brings in three federal dollars to provide access to health care for our children, providing an important boost to North Carolina’s struggling economy. This means an additional $25.5M in federal funding, along with the proposed $8.5M increase at the state level, would go towards providing health care for North Carolina’s children.
  • Add jobs and improve the economy. If funding were increased by $8.5M, an estimated 300 jobs would be created in N.C., generating an estimated $12M in salary and wage increases. The total amount of business activity generated by the additional spending for children’s health insurance is estimated at more than $30M[1].

Healthy Children are North Carolina’s Future
A strong workforce and a vibrant economy are contingent on ensuring that all our state’s children have the opportunity to grow and thrive. North Carolina has made great strides in insuring children and decreasing unnecessary infant deaths. Critical and timely investments are needed now to maintain these successes and ensure that children’s health, and our state’s long-term economic prospects, are not harmed.

This event is sponsored by the Covenant with North Carolina’s Children and Action for Children NC. Please RSVP to Margaret@nccovenant.org.

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