Written by: Sen. Tim Mathern
Providing health insurance for all of our children is not just a financial matter. It’s a moral one, too. As you read this, 14,000 children across North Dakota are going without health insurance. That means childhood illnesses will go untreated, potentially leading to more serious conditions down the road. It means there are a lot of worried mothers and fathers out there, wincing with every cough and earache and asking “what if?”
Currently, we have an opportunity to cure this problem. There is a bill before the Legislature that would raise the level for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program to 200 percent of the poverty level, or about $42,400 for a family of four. That would be a good start. We should also adopt a buy-in program to allow all families access to this program.
We know healthy children do better in school and in life. We also know such an investment will more than pay for itself in the long run by creating a healthier generation of North Dakotans.
Covering every child is clearly within our reach. Let’s do it.