Children's Health Legislation Update and New Interactive Tools
Next week, Congress will return from their Thanksgiving recess and resume efforts to negotiate a veto-proof compromise on the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). These ongoing negotiations over the last few months have resulted in a lot of confusion over an already complex issue. In an effort to provide more clarity, CDF recently unveiled two new interactive tools on its website that explain the current status of SCHIP and to provide a context for recent legislative actions and their projected implications for children's coverage.
The interactive tools include an SCHIP reauthorization timeline and a map of states projected to experience SCHIP shortfalls unless Congress increases funding. We'll continue to update these tools as negotiations proceed and we hope you find them useful in understanding this complex issue and in fighting to ensure that all children in America receive the health coverage they need to survive and thrive!
700,000 Children Born Uninsured — A Shameful Milestone
Last year, an uninsured child was born every 47 seconds, and approximately 1,900 children were born uninsured every day. Unfortunately, as stunning as these statistics are, the situation seems to be getting worse for our nation's children. CDF's new analysis of the most recent Census data indicates that now every 41 seconds a child in the United States is born without health coverage — more than 2,100 children every day.
CDF's website features a counter that tracks the number of uninsured children born since the 110th Congress was called to order on January 4, 2007 — a Congress that was convened "for all of America's children." Today, that number is nearly 700,000. The counter is an up-to-the-minute measure of the effect of Congress' and President Bush's failure to provide health coverage to all of our nation's uninsured children and pregnant women.
(Find out how you can add this counter to your own website.)
Purchase Your Holiday Cards Today!
Now is the perfect time to purchase your cards for the upcoming holiday season and CDF now has several colorful cards available in our online store. These cards are a great way to wish your friends and family happy holiday while encouraging them to join you in keeping the interests of all children in their thoughts this holiday season.
(While making your holiday card purchase, help give a voice to all children by adding a donation to CDF during the checkout process.)
National Observance of Children's Sabbaths® Celebrants Distribute "Healthy Bags"
Wesley United Methodist Church in Lexington, Kentucky was one of more than 8,000 faith communities, representing all faith traditions, in all 50 states, who participated in the 16th National Observance of Children's Sabbaths Celebration last month. With the help of CDF's National Observance of Children's Sabbaths manual, faith communities learned about, prayed for and advocated on behalf of the more than nine million children without health insurance in America. Congregants at this Lexington church worked to prepare "health bags" (filled with toothbrushes, games, and healthy snacks) for low-income families which the children of Wesley then distributed — making some new friends in the process! Church members also provided information to the families on how they could enroll their children in Medicaid and SCHIP programs. Later that day, they were joined by their state legislator at a prayer service they held to lift up the health of all children living in Kentucky. Their celebration concluded with two National Observance of Children's Sabbaths services the next morning that were so uplifting that those who attended are still talking about it! The church is now in the process of putting together a DVD of all the events and we're looking forward to seeing it!
Other National Observance of Children's Sabbaths Celebration participants took part in a letter writing campaign calling on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to cover all children. This letter writing campaign, one of the celebration's specific action requests, was a great success, leaving us just 100 letters short of reaching our goal of generating 1,000 letters. Help us surpassing this goal by involving your faith community in this critical campaign for children and learn more about the National Observance of Children's Sabbaths Celebration.
Addressing Maternal, Infant and Child Survival in Italy
Last month, the Global Women's Action Network for ChildrenSM Advisory Group met in Bellagio, Italy to discuss a health advocacy campaign to express outrage and catalyze a women's movement to demand action to redress the preventable loss each year of almost 12 million mothers and infants due to pregnancy and childbirth-related causes. The Advisory Group members provided feedback on the campaign strategy and promotional materials, suggested potential target countries and shared advice to guide implementation of the campaign. They also committed to serve as campaign champions within respective countries and networks. The meeting was supported by the Rockefeller Foundation.
Help CDF Kick Off its 35th Anniversary Year
In 2008, CDF is celebrating its 35th anniversary and we will be using this opportunity to re-commit even more intensely to our mission, setting out to achieve the following goals as passionately, as aggressively, and as successfully as our resources allow:
- Ensuring a child's chance of a successful passage to adulthood through the Cradle to Prison Pipeline® Initiative
- Improving education through the CDF Freedom Schools® program
- Expanding children's health coverage
- Tapping America's precious natural resources through youth leadership development
Join with us! Your generous financial contribution will help us work towards achieving these goals during this momentous year.
ChildrensDefense.org Gets a "Facelift"
Earlier this month, CDF launched it's new homepage "facelift." We undertook this homepage redesign project after hearing from CDF supporters (and our own staff) about frustrations in finding the information they needed. Some new improvements to the homepage include a more simplified navigation, better use of the homepage space, and just a cleaner look in general. We have additional website improvements planned for 2008, so stay tuned!