"It's about time"
There can be little doubt that one cause of the persistent failure of many children is their health-- or lack of it. As schools have been forced to slash budgets, nurses were one of the first "non-instructional" expenditures to go. No nurses in the school, no health care provided -- what's a kid to do?
Well done, Governor. I hope you can deliver. And I hope other governors follow your lead.
For details, see the Chicago Tribune's story. A highlight:
The governor's ambitious proposal would alter the way Medicaid oversees medical care and make Illinois the first state in the nation to offer coverage to all uninsured children.
For the first time, most Medicaid members would be required to select a doctor who would be responsible for managing all their medical care. Currently, patients on Medicaid can see any physician they like, and care management is virtually non-existent.
The program would save $57 million next year, and Blagojevich wants to use $45 million of that to extend health care coverage to uninsured children from middle-income families.
The governor, who has made health care a signature issue, said he would try to pass his plan in the legislature's veto session this month and was "cautiously optimistic" about its prospects.
"It's about time government did something to help [middle class families] ... get health care for their kids," he said.