Safeguarding the health and wellness of Colorado’s kids is important to building strong communities. To grow up healthy, kids must build healthy habits from a young age—including engaging in regular physical activity and eating nutritious foods—and have access to reliable, quality health care. To grow up healthy, kids reliable, quality health care services, and must build healthy habits from a young age—including engaging in regular physical activity and eating nutritious foods.
Where Colorado Stands
Thanks to important decisions made by Colorado lawmakers, together with implementation of federal health reform, Colorado has made great strides in ensuring that our kids have access to health insurance. Over the last decade, we’ve seen an historic decline in uninsured kids across all races and ethnicities. However, substantial disparities remain in health insurance coverage among Colorado kids. Hispanic children are twice as likely to be uninsured as children from any other single racial or ethnic group, making up more than half of the 70,000 children in Colorado who still lack health insurance. Additionally, many kids remain uninsured despite being eligible for assistance – in 2014, three out of four uninsured children in Colorado were eligible for subsidized coverage through Medicaid, CHP+ or the Marketplace, but were not enrolled.
Challenges also remain in access to quality health care services and all of the other things kids need to get off to a healthy start. Colorado is widely recognized as one of the healthiest states in the nation—but there are a number of troubling health trends among our children. In 2014, more than one in four Colorado children was overweight or obese. In addition, approximately 240,000 kids lived in households that were food insecure at some point during 2014.
What the Children’s Campaign is Doing
With the support of the Children’s Campaign, meaningful policy has been passed at the federal and state levels over the last few years to lay the foundation for getting kids the care they need, when and where they need it. Our priority now is to make sure those polices are implemented appropriately and to build upon them. All Colorado children should have health coverage and the opportunity to grow up healthy and strong with support at home, school and the community. The Children’s Campaign is focused on the following key policy priorities:
Investing in Kids
Building on the positive momentum of the last few years, Colorado has a tremendous opportunity to extend health insurance options to all uninsured children through public programs (Medicaid and CHP+) and private health insurance. We must ensure that health insurance coverage provides access to quality health care services that kids need for a health start, including primary care, oral health care, developmental screenings, and mental health care. Now is also the time to turn around the concerning growth in the number of Colorado kids facing hunger and obesity by promoting access to healthy, nutritious foods and safe places to exercise and play.
Want to Learn More?
For more information on child health in Colorado, please contact the Children’s Campaign’s Vice President of Health Initiatives, Erin Miller, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303.620.4560.
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