Access to Children’s Healthcare

Thursday, July 25 at 7 p.m. on Ch. 5.1

In New Mexico, about 9 percent of children do not have health insurance coverage. We all pay when children aren’t covered. These kids are less likely to receive necessary medication and more likely to experience a hospital stay that could have been avoided by seeing a doctor earlier. And healthier kids lead to more productive, healthy adults.

Ideally this situation would improve under the national Affordable Healthcare Act. There will be an expansion of the Medicaid program and a new health insurance exchange to help families purchase coverage. But will things get better?

On this month’s Public Square, we hear from mothers who have struggled to make sure their kids have coverage. And we talk with community and health advocates about the challenges in getting kids access to care.

Community leaders include State Rep. James Roger Madalena, D-Jemez Pueblo, State Sen. Sue Wilson Beffort, R-Albuquerque, and Rory Cobb, director of outreach for New Mexico Health Connections.

Join New Mexico PBS for a PUBLIC SQUARE, where civic dialogue takes center stage. Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE was provided in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. PUBLIC SQUARE is hosted & produced by Megan Kamerick.

Quotes From PUBLIC SQUARE Participants:

“I was terrified that something would send us into a debt for a medical emergency we couldn’t handle.”
~Micaela Cadena, Mother and Policy Director, Young Women United

“There are 40,000 kids in NM who should be on Medicaid and who are not on the program.”
~Sireesha Manne, Attorney, New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty

“The process is so cumbersome. It’s not for lack of trying on everyone’s part to get those kids covered.”
~Rory Cobb, Director of Community Outreach, New Mexico Health Connections

“There’s no way to handle it. You just have to file the bills away and prepare when there is a chance to pay.”
~Lillian Sanchez, Mother with child on Medicaid

Funding for PUBLIC SQUARE was provided in part by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

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