More than 10 years ago, dozens of organizations and individuals accomplished an important public policy goal: enacting legislation to ensure that every child in Washington State would have health coverage and access to care. We wanted kids to have coverage for check-ups, vaccinations and medical care, which are all necessary for a good start in school and life. This coverage helps family stability in other ways. For example, parents miss fewer days at work and families are more financially stable when they have access to quality, affordable health care for their kids.
This week, WSHA and many of our partners are celebrating the 10th anniversary of Apple Health for Kids. It’s an exciting milestone, but in truth, I think about it much more often than every 10 years. As a parent, I am so grateful to have good health insurance for my kids. And I’m so proud to have been part of something that gives all the kids in our state the care they need.
Washington State is a leader in children’s health. Cover All Kids was a tremendous bipartisan effort that now covers more than 850,000 children. Fewer than 3 percent of Washington’s kids are uninsured — a historical low.
We must defend the progress we’ve made. Apple Health for Kids relies on federal funding. While Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) has long had bipartisan support in Congress, funding struggles are putting the long-term picture at risk. As we engage our Democrat and Republican members of Congress, we will continue to advocate for this strong, successful program.
WSHA President & CEO