Healthy Kids Press Contact,
Ashley Carr, Chief Marketing Officer,
(850) 701-6160, [email protected].
From the Tallahassee Democrat
Wendy Link, My View 1:37 p.m. EST January 24, 2016
Legislative session and Children’s Week are officially upon us — an annual opportunity for those in positions of public responsibility to re-commit to our state’s children and their health, both today and in the future. As chair of the Florida Healthy Kids board of directors, I appreciate how this week-long celebration brings together Florida’s parents, teachers, advocates and government leaders for the shared purpose of discussing key children’s issues with renewed enthusiasm, vigor and passion.
There are few actions that are more important than protecting and nurturing the young Floridians who depend upon us and who will ultimately grow up to be the next generation of state leaders, business owners, teachers, innovators and parents of their own children. This unbreakable chain of trust between public decision-makers and Florida families is at the heart of everything my colleagues and I on the Florida Healthy Kids board do. Through the four programs that make up Florida KidCare, we bring affordable, child-centered health insurance within reach for millions of Florida’s children.
Of the many issues that are critical to children, and prominent during Children’s Week, access to health care is one of the most resonant. Access means much more than sick children receiving the services they need — it also means earlier detection of developmental disabilities and delays. Annual visits and screenings help children avoid communicable diseases and reduce the likelihood of obesity and other preventable health problems. Children with health insurance have more opportunities to be active and participate in sports.
While Florida KidCare is recognized nationally as an innovative and exemplary program that provides this access to children at each developmental stage, there is still much we can accomplish, beginning with those who remain uninsured. Over 300,000 Florida children lack comprehensive health insurance even though they qualify for low-cost or no-cost coverage. This is a problem that we can and must solve together.
It is a great privilege to serve on the board of an organization that brings health care within realistic reach for our state’s children. In July 2016, we will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the enrollment of the first child in Florida Healthy Kids — a true testament to the timeless and priceless peace of mind that insurance through this program provides. I thank the Legislature for supporting Florida Healthy Kids and the larger Florida KidCare program.
We all have a role to play in keeping Florida’s children healthy — our legislators support the Florida KidCare health insurance program, and parents make sacrifices to include health care in their family budgets and make sure their children regularly see their physicians. Let’s all do our part to make Florida the healthiest state in the country.
Wendy Link is the chairwoman of the Florida Healthy Kids board of directors. She can be reached at [email protected].