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"Cover the Uninsured Week" is not until April 23-29. But the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which is the lead sponsor, just sent out a press conference announcement and some updated analyses.  

The project is, alas, a limited one that derives from from the passage of SCHIP during the late Clinton years to extend Medicaid-like coverage to more poor children.

On the one had, given its name it would seem appropriate if it were at least calling for real Universal Health Care for all ages, and not just a matter of pushing for the extension and reauthorization of SCHIP.  

On the other hand: given that many children remain uninsured, and Bush wants to reduce SCHIP, and even the most conservative Democrats do want to extend it, this is something and worth supporting as an immediate activity... while we ALSO work for our real goal.

Meanwhile it is most interesting to compare who is officially a partner in this program, to what it's written goals are.

In other words, I am calling "bullshit" on phony grand coalitions, their not-really-interested corporate paymasters, and the progressive organizations that lend their name to it that gives them all cover...

Here is the the stated purpose & goals :

The Situation

Ten years ago, Congress created the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to cover kids whose parents work but can't afford health insurance on their own. Thanks to SCHIP, millions of children can now see a doctor when they are sick and get the care they need to stay healthy. But there are 9 million more children--more than the total number of kids enrolled in the first and second grades in U.S. public schools--still living without health coverage. This year, Congress must reauthorize SCHIP for it to continue. Congress has the opportunity to cover millions more uninsured kids, ensuring they, too, get the care they need.

The Response

Cover the Uninsured Week 2007 will focus on a clear goal: demonstrating broad support for the reauthorization of SCHIP and the need to cover America's uninsured children. Cover the Uninsured Week 2007 will create a groundswell of activities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia designed to highlight the success of SCHIP, demonstrate the need for public children's health coverage programs, help uninsured children get enrolled in public coverage programs, and continue to press for coverage for all uninsured Americans. Activities will include press conferences, community forums, health and enrollment fairs, seminars for small businesses, campus events, faith-based activities, and more.

Get Involved

Through this effort and with your help, millions of people will be alerted to the importance of SCHIP to our nation's children. You can help get our children covered.

About Cover the Uninsured Week

Now in its fifth year, Cover the Uninsured Week brings together business owners, union members, educators, students, patients, physicians, nurses, faith leaders and their congregants, and organizations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to demand that our nation's leaders find solutions for the more than 46 million Americans living without health insurance. What started in 2003 as a week-long effort to raise awareness has become a nationwide movement to make sure that this issue is a top national priority. Each year, Cover the Uninsured Week gains momentum as thousands of people organize events and activities on behalf of America's uninsured.

What is SCHIP?

The State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) was authorized by Congress in 1997 to provide health coverage for children living in families earning too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford private insurance. Go to www.insurekidsnow.gov to find out about the Children's Health Insurance Program in your state.

You can peruse the lengthy lists of sponsors below.

I am not so naive as to think that just because they have "officially" signed on means that they really mean it.

Suffice it to say that every imporant corporate group has given money and lent it name to sponsor this... the For Profit Private Insurers, Big Pharma, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Small Business Association and other business groups, AMA, AHA... you name a presumed enemy of universal heatlh insurance, even that limited to to "just" children... and they have ostensibly signed on... and have done so for at least 5-years!

Yet:

  • Republicans in congress have never fully funded SCHIP so that it can cover everybody.
  • Bush is actually calling for a reduction in funing for SCHIP this year.
  • Democrats in cognress are calling for its expansion as if this were a big and controversial leap forward.
  • Governors who want to do the right thing and expand coverage in their states have to scramble for funding and are left out to dry politically.

Does anybody really think that if the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and AHIP both really wanted SCHIP to go to universal child coverage, that it would not pass congress and be signed by the president immediately?

This is why some of us call busllshit on such grand coalitions.  

Or is this useful? Does getting them to sign on help make this more likely to pass eventually? Or is health insurance for all children, already such an "apple pie" non-controversial issue in theory, that their doing so is completely meaningless? And what does it mean that even this has not in fact been passed and funded?

WTF?!?

Below is the full list ofthe various supposed sponsors who have ostensibly signed on:

National Partners:

  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • AFL-CIO
  • The Healthcare Leadership Council  - was formed in 1988 by CEOs from all disciplines within the health care system
  • AARP
  • United Way of America
  • American Medical Association
  • National Medical Association - largest and oldest national organization representing African-American physicians and health professionals
  • American Nurses Association
  • Families USA
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
  • America's Health Insurance Plans
  • American Hospital Association
  • Federation of American Hospitals
  • Catholic Health Association of the United States
  • Service Employees International Union
  • National Alliance for Hispanic Health
  • The California Endowment
  • W.K. Kellogg Foundation
  • The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

National Sponsors:

  • California HealthCare Foundation
  • The Colorado Health Foundation
  • Merck & Co., Inc.
  • Missouri Foundation for Health
  • Pfizer Inc
  • Rose Community Foundation
  • W.K. Kellogg Foundation

National Supporters:

  • Alliance of Community Health Plans
  • American Academy of Family Physicians
  • American Academy of Neurology
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American Academy of Physician Assistants
  • American Association for Respiratory Care
  • American Association of Colleges of Nursing
  • American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
  • American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
  • American Association of School Administrators
  • American Association of University Women
  • American Cancer Society
  • American College Health Association
  • American College of Clinical Pharmacy
  • American College of Emergency Physicians
  • American College of Healthcare Executives
  • American College of Medical Quality
  • American College of Nurse Practitioners
  • American College of Nurse-Midwives
  • American College of Obstetrician and Gynecology
  • American College of Physicians
  • American College of Preventive Medicine
  • American College of Surgeons
  • American Dental Association
  • American Dental Hygienists' Association
  • American Diabetes Association
  • American Federation of Teachers
  • American Geriatrics Society
  • American Health Care Association-National Center For Assisted Living
  • American Heart Association
  • American Lung Association
  • American Medical Association - Medical Student Section
  • American Medical Group Association
  • American Medical Student Association
  • American Optometric Association
  • American Organization of Nurse Executives
  • American Osteopathic Association
  • American Pharmacists Association
  • American Physical Therapy Association
  • American Physical Therapy Association Student Assembly
  • American Project Access Network
  • American Psychiatric Association
  • American Psychological Association
  • American Public Health Association
  • American School Counselor Association
  • American School Health Association
  • American Society for Clinical Pathology
  • American Society for Dermatologic Surgery
  • American Society for Reproductive Medicine
  • American Society of Addiction Medicine
  • American Stroke Association
  • American Thoracic Society
  • America's Promise - The Alliance for Youth
  • APHA Student Assembly
  • Arthritis Foundation
  • Ascension Health
  • Asian Health Services
  • Association for Community Health Improvement
  • Association of American Medical Colleges
  • Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations
  • Association of Black Cardiologists, Inc.
  • Association of Brethren Caregivers
  • Association of Clinicians for the Underserved
  • Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs
  • Association of Health Insurance Advisors
  • Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs
  • Association of Reproductive Health Professionals
  • Association of Schools of Public Health
  • Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors
  • Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
  • Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
  • Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
  • Black Leadership Forum
  • Black Women's Health Imperative
  • Boys & Girls Club of America
  • Center for Health and Health Care in Schools
  • Child Health Foundation
  • Child Welfare League of America
  • Children's Defense Fund
  • Children's Health Fund
  • Circle of Parents, Inc.
  • Clinical Directors Network, Inc.
  • CodeBlueNow!
  • Community-Campus Partnerships for Health
  • Connect for Kids
  • Consumers Union
  • Council of the Great City Schools
  • Covering Kids & Families
  • Directors of Health Promotion and Public Health Education
  • Disciples Home Mission of the Christian Church
  • Easter Seals
  • Emergency Nurses Association
  • Epilepsy Foundation of America
  • Every Child By Two
  • EyeCare America
  • Faith in Action
  • Family Support America
  • Family Voices
  • Farmworker Health Services, Inc.
  • General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church
  • Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
  • Health Care for the Homeless Clinicians' Network
  • Health Sector Assembly
  • Healthcare Financial Management Association
  • HIPPY USA
  • Injury Free Coalition for Kids
  • Lance Armstrong Foundation
  • Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
  • Local Initiative Funding Partners
  • March of Dimes
  • Mennonite Church U.S.A.
  • Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
  • Minority Health Professions Foundation
  • NALEO Educational Fund
  • National Alliance for the Mentally Ill
  • National Alliance of Black School Educators
  • National Alliance of Pupil Services Organizations
  • National Assembly on School-Based Health Care
  • National Association for the Self-Employed
  • National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions
  • National Association of Community Health Centers
  • National Association of Counties
  • National Association of County and City Health Officials
  • National Association of Elementary School Principals
  • National Association of Health Services Executives
  • National Association of Hispanic Nurses
  • National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
  • National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems
  • National Association of School Psychologists
  • National Association of Secondary School Principals
  • National Association of Social Workers
  • National Black Child Development Institute
  • National Black Nurses Association, Inc.
  • National Business Coalition on Health
  • National Catholic Educational Association
  • National Center for Farmworker Health, Inc.
  • National Coalition for LGBT Health
  • National Coalition on Health Care
  • National Community Education Association
  • National Conference of State Legislatures
  • National Council of Jewish Women
  • National Court Appointed Special Advocates Association
  • National Federation of Filipino American Associations
  • National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
  • National Head Start Association
  • National Health Council
  • National Health Law Program
  • National Health Occupations Students of America
  • National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition
  • National Hispanic Medical Association
  • National Indian Child Welfare Association
  • National Kidney Foundation
  • National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
  • National Latino Children's Institute
  • National League of Cities
  • National Network of Public Health Institutes
  • National Optometric Association
  • National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties
  • National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • National PTA
  • National Rural Education Association
  • National Rural Health Association
  • National Small Business Association
  • National Student Nurses' Association
  • National Wellness Institute, Inc.
  • National WIC Association
  • National Women's Health Network
  • National Women's Health Resource Center
  • National Youth Sports Program
  • Oral Health America
  • Parents Action For Children
  • Prevent Child Abuse America
  • ProLiteracy Worldwide
  • Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
  • Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Physician Faculty Scholars Program
  • School Social Work Association of America
  • Society for Adolescent Medicine
  • Society for Women's Health Research
  • Society of General Internal Medicine
  • Society of Interventional Radiology
  • Southern Rural Access Program
  • Student Academy of the American Academy of Physician Assistants
  • Student Osteopathic Medical Association
  • Tourette Syndrome Association
  • U.S. Conference of Mayors
  • Urban Institute
  • Voices for America's Children
  • YMCA of the USA
  • YWCA USA

National Interfaith Advisory Board

  • Rev. Eileen W. Lindner - National Council of Churches, Chairperson, National Interfaith Advisory Board
  • Ms. Kathleen A. Curran - United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
  • Rabbi Marla J. Feldman - Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism
  • Major Ronald Foreman - The Salvation Army, National Social Services Secretary
  • Rabbi Steve Gutow - Executive Director, Jewish Council for Public Affairs
  • Dr. Richard Land - Southern Baptist Convention, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
  • Bishop E. Earl McCloud, Jr. - Ecumenical Officer, African Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Ms. Garland Pohl - Catholic Association of Diocesan Ecumenical and Interreligious Officers
  • Dr. Mary Ruth Stone - Church of God, Cleveland, Tennessee
  • Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed - Islamic Society of North America
  • Bishop Melvin Talbert - United Methodist Church

I should say that such foundations as Robert Wood Johnson, The Commonwealth Fund, Annie E. Casey, W.K. Kellogg Foundation all do important and good work in doing studies and supporting much good work. But they are of course limited in their agenda by their need to raise money from corporate sources. And yes, that's Johnson, as in Johnson & Johnson... the "band aid" people (and world's largest health and medical care products conglomerate).

Originally posted to DrSteveB on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 11:01 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Poll? (0+ / 0-)

    It's bullshit.

    Fetid, rotten bullshit.

    "I desire what is good. Therefore, everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor." King George III

    by ogre on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 11:19:19 AM PDT

  •  There are pros and cons (0+ / 0-)

    Children are the healthiest group, but there are some who get appendicitis or some forms of cancer and other ailments. Overall though, they are the most profitable group to insure.

    Most children go to the doctor about once a year and for that group, they could pay their own way with the cost of one monthly premium.

    Our state pays for children's insurance with cigarette taxes, as far as I know.  Taxes on cigarettes are so high here,  plus new laws barring smoking from inside businesses, workplaces, bars and restaurants have lowered the amount of taxes they are taking in because people are buying less.  You can tax and ban a substance out of existence.

    Covering all children is a way to funnel more tax money to the already wealthy insurance companies and keeps those who want national insurance from using the fact so many children are uninsured.

    It does nothing for those who are paying too high insurance payments for the rest of their family, for too low benefits, from too low conservative wages.

    With VA, Medicare, Schip and other children's insurances, Medicaid, taxpayer paid insurance for elected officials and their appointees, the tax payer paid Military officer's insurance, plus what we pay for our own, it doesn't seem like it would take any more money to have national insurance.

    All children should be insured and so should everyone else. And it shouldn't bankrupt people with high costs and low benefits.

    Nancy's got some 'splaining' to do. So do the blue dog democrats.

    by relentless on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 04:29:58 AM PDT

  •  Hijacking CTUW (0+ / 0-)

    So you might be right - this whole thing may very well be a sham.  However, they're putting alot of money into promoting CTUW and, in the end what this boils down to is a whole lot of free press for anyone interested in promoting national health insurance.  

    At our medical school we are using the entire week to raise awareness to the problems of and to educate on the indentities of the uninsured, and to conduct political action to promote HR676.  Oh, and of course, we remain entirely independant of the national CTUW and their odd agenda.  

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