Children without health care

Who can dispute that growing up healthy is essential to a child's well being? And yet, the rising cost of health insurance, combined with a severe recession and increasing unemployment, often meaning loss of health care, puts the financial stability of families in jeopardy, asking them to make all but impossible choices between food, rent and clothes and health care.

Children without health insurance are ten times more likely than insured children to miss out on needed medical care.

More and more are showing up in emergency rooms for health care or going without. According to Children First for Oregon, "these children are more likely to suffer from common childhood illnesses that force children to miss school.

They are three times more likely to go without needed prescriptions. Children without insurance are eight times more likely to go without preventative and primary medical care."

The report goes on to state that medical debt is a rapidly growing problem in Oregon and across the nation.

There are more than 100,000 children in Oregon without healthcare insurance. Of the 45,605 children in Jackson County, 4,606 are uninsured. According to county officials, 51.5 percent of eighth graders have not had a physical exam in the past year; 69.3 percent have tooth decay; 44.2 percent have not seen a dentist in the previous year; there are 3,989 students for every 1.0 FTE school nurse in the county. The preferred ratio is 750 students to every 1.0 FTE nurse.

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