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Where does Sarah Palin stand on children’s health coverage?

The entire country now has heard about how Sarah Palin and her husband knew in advance that their son, Trig Palin, would be born with Down Syndrome. The Palins also must have known that they would have health insurance and the financial resources needed to pay for the extensive medical care Trig is likely to need throughout his life.

Here is 3-year old Emily Demko, another child with Down Syndrome, who lives with her
family in Ohio. The family has given permission to share this photo of their beautiful daughter and the story (details here) of their trials securing health coverage for Emily.

As of this spring, Emily was uninsured. Due to her Down Syndrome, the family could not find a private insurer willing to offer them affordable coverage for Emily. If the Bush Administration had not shut down Ohio’s efforts to expand its State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), Emily would have been able to continue to secure decent, affordable public coverage. But the Bush Administration in August of 2007 issued a controversial ban on coverage of children in moderate-income families and twice vetoed bills to reauthorize and expand the SCHIP program.SCHIP is a popular, bi-partisan program. Sixty-eight Senators, including 18 Republicans, voted for the SCHIP reauthorization bill that President Bush vetoed (Senate vote). John McCain, however, stood with the President.So, along with knowing about Sarah Palin’s personal decision to have a child with Down Syndrome, it also would be good know if she agrees with her candidate’s decision to stand with President Bush against expanding the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. Right call or wrong call?

Jocelyn Guyer is the deputy executive director at the Center for Children and Families (CCF) and a senior researcher at the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute. This post represents her personal opinion not that of the Institute.

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Clive the Health and Fitness GuyLauraCurtMargaret DemkoUrsula Walcott Recent comment authors
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Clive the Health and Fitness Guy
Guest

Gladly in the UK we don’t have the problem of health care as we have the NHS which is free “At the Moment” But I am a firm believer that all children should have free health care. After all its not there thought their parents can’t or choose not to pay for insurance. But as I said we don’t have that problem YET!!

Laura
Guest
Laura

I have S-Chip and Private Health Insurance. I work full time for state government in a professional level position, yet I qualify for this and WIC. This should show you how much people earn these days. If I did not have health insurance (which since I work for the state they are mandated to cover any preexisting conditions if we apply during open enrollment or at our hire date) and my wonderful Medicaid card, my daughter probably would be blind and speak very little. My S-Chip pays my staggering Co-pays. Medicaid also reimburses me my premiums every month, because they… Read more »

Curt
Guest
Curt

Is Health Care insurance the real issue? NO the COST and quality of health care is! If the cost of healthcare is not brought down it won’t matter what kind of insurance programs there are out there, because the government “The People” will not be able to afford to fund or pay for them. What the government provides is paid for by the people, it is NOT FREE! Health insurance costs could be greatly decreased if the hospitals were held responsible for their mistakes and not charging the patients health insurance. Hospital Infections add more than $30,000,000,000.00 thirty billion dollars… Read more »

Margaret Demko
Guest
Margaret Demko

Thanks for the information about other states and their programs for children with disabilities. In Ohio, there is a program called BCMH, and the child must have a significant disability to be covered, then only certain parts of the anatomy are covered by this program. Emily does not qualify, since they do not consider Downs Syndrome is not considered a disabling condition. She does not have any of the other issues that would make her qualify for the program. That being said, the only other option on Ohio is SCHIP, and as mentioned earlier, we make too much money to… Read more »

Ursula Walcott
Guest
Ursula Walcott

I’m confused MJD. Why can’t you get coverage for your daughter based on disability (most states have a “loophole” program that is based on disability regardless of income). Children under this program get full coverage no matter how much their parents make. I am aware however that this program does not exist in all states. Are you from a state that doesn’t have it? My daughter has a condition similar to Downs (chromosomal translocation) and my family makes a combined income of $60,000. I do not qualify for Medicaid or any other gov’t program based on income. I make way… Read more »

tracy
Guest
tracy

I have a child with down’s syndrome. They automatically qualify for for full medical coverage provided by the state, due to the indisputable diagnosis. It’s a shame you do not have this information.

tracy
Guest
tracy

I have a child with down’s syndrome. They automatically qualify for for full medical coverage provided by the state, due to the indisputable diagnosis. It’s a shame you do not have this information.

tracy
Guest
tracy

I have a child with down’s syndrome. They automatically qualify for for full medical coverage provided by the state, due to the indisputable diagnosis. It’s a shame you do not have this information.

rachel
Guest
rachel

Excellent question. Will Palin support helping all children. All children should have access to quality health care, not only poor children.
It is not fair to exclude people because they make too much yet never enough. The Republicans need to address this issue if they want any chance of winning. Only giving money and programs to Democratic voters is not smart.

Patrick Pete
Guest

This is a great story. And while I agree with MG that this topic probably won’t be in the top ten of topics discussed in this election. It should still be talked about and talked about LOUDLY, if in no other place than the blogosphere. As someone who has had some health issues (prostate cancer, diabetes, heart disease), things like this are close to my heart (literally). I have seen both sides of the coin and been affected by both sides. My father is currently dying from the same disease (prostate cancer) that I was diagnosed with and cured of.… Read more »

MJD
Guest
MJD

joeblow, I would like to introduce myself as the mother of the child portrayed in the story above. I can assure you, it is NOT a bs story, and our income is several thousand less than 75k per year. as a matter of fact, we were less than $200 away from medicaid eligability! I live in southeast Ohio, where the median income is less than 42K per year. Also, my daughter has no option of private healthcare, since she has a gentic condition. The group plan I was part of when she was born did not want to continue full… Read more »

joeblow
Guest
joeblow

This is a BS story. “Moderate” income = 75k to 150k. If her parents arent willing to spend the $1000 or so per month to insure their child, then its THEIR problem, not the federal governments.
SCHIP is supposed to be for low/working class income, not upper middle class fools who are are trying to bilk the federal govt.

Peter
Guest
Peter

jw, don’t fret about a job for her daughter’s partner (husband to be?). With all the Palin’s friends and relatives and her new Republican best friends they’ll all get jobs and healthcare – maybe even Federal healthcare. You don’t think that the new happy couple will be allowed to fail do you?

jw
Guest
jw

I have to wonder how her grandchild’s prenatal care and pediatric care will be paid for. Usually when a couple gets married, they lose parent’s coverage. And if they both remain in school I would think that getting a job with health care benefits would be close to impossible. Perhaps Medicaid/SCHIP for Mom and new baby???
………JW

Peter
Guest
Peter

Ms. Palin, where do you stand on childrens healthcare? Please respond.