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Real Health Care Stories: Melissa R.

Uninsured children do not get the medical treatment or attention that they need when they are sick. They spend time in the classroom not feeling well and cannot focus on their classroom assignments.  Being a teacher of a younger age group, I feel bad for the children who are sick, and there is nothing I can do but to send them to the nurse, who can’t really do anything either.

They also do not get the required shots in order to start school. By not getting their required inoculations on time for the new school year, these students start school late and miss important benchmark testing and assessments in order for us, the teachers, to determine what level they are on.

I have had several students this past year who have not gone to the doctor when they needed to, and their illness just progressed to the point that finally they were sick enough that their parents had to take them to the hospital or the walk-in clinic (the ailment could have been treated prior to an emergency situation).

If these same students are sick during important testing times, for instance, FCAT (for the state of Florida), they do not perform to their capabilities. Thus, causing them to either fail that grade, if they are in third grade, or end up in remediation classes when they just had a bad day, and contributing to the school’s poor grade or not meeting AYP that year for the several areas that student hits (Free/reduced lunch, ESOL, ESE, etc.).

We have something called KidCare in Florida. However, I’m not entirely positive who qualifies or how many people are aware of the program. But if you make just enough to not qualify but not enough to actually pay for medical care for your children, what are you supposed to do?  Food or medical care? Tank of gas for work or medical care? These are real decisions that our families are facing.


— Melissa R.
Florida

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