More than 35 healthcare and social activist groups last week joined together to form the Campaign for Children's Health Care, which aims to boost public awareness about the 9 million children without health insurance coverage in the U.S. The coalition also intends to push for legislative solutions.
"The Catholic healthcare ministry has long been committed to accessible and affordable healthcare for all," said Sister Carol Keehan, president and chief executive officer of the Catholic Hospital Association, a member of the campaign.
The coalition said it will hold a series of "town hall"-type meetings in December, among other events, and it will arrange for a national lobbying day in advance of the 2007 congressional session, when lawmakers are expected to address the issue.
One out of eight U.S. children is uninsured, although 80% "are in working families," said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, a coalition member. Uninsured children are less likely to get needed immunizations and preventive care, Pollack said. "The lack of health coverage for children has huge and often irreparable consequences," he said. The coalition also includes the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Public Health Association and Consumers Union.