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NEA applauds President Obama’s Child Health Day proclamation

Eight million uninsured children deserve quality health care

WASHINGTON - October 05, 2009 -

President Barack Obama has proclaimed today, October 5, 2009, as Child Health Day, calling upon families, child health professionals, faith-based and community organizations, and governments to help ensure that America’s children stay safe and healthy.

According to a 2008 study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 90 percent of children with insurance had seen a doctor within the previous year, compared to just 69 percent of those who lacked insurance. The gap was even wider when it came to preventive checkups—76 percent of insured children compared to 44 percent of the uninsured.

Without proper medical care, uninsured children remain sick longer than their classmates and miss more days of school. Or they sit at their desks with earaches, toothaches or other ailments that make it almost impossible for them to focus and learn. Or, because they didn’t have a regular checkup, conditions such as vision problems go undetected, and preventable illnesses aren’t prevented.

The following may be attributed to NEA President Dennis Van Roekel:

“NEA recognizes and applauds President Obama’s commitment to the well-being of our nation’s children and will continue to fight alongside him for health care for all. NEA and the president want to ensure that sick children do not suffer due to lack of medical care. If we truly want to give every child an opportunity to receive a quality education, we must reform our health insurance system so every family is protected.”

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing
3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Sara Robertson  (202) 822-7823,