9,000,000 children have no health insurance, a problem that has been ignored for a long time by the United States government. This is the message brought by Susie Flynn, the nine year old girl aiming for the White House who wants to ensure that the children who have no health insurance are not ignored. And even though, according to the US Constitution, she cant become president much like Arnold Schwarzenegger, she has campaigned in front of the White House, on the side of the road, and even on television.
Sponsored by the Children’s Defense Fund, Susie’s message impacts nine million uninsured American children, most of whom live with two parents. With that kind of sponsorship, Susie has been the first 2008 Presidential Candidate with a national buy on CNN, airing during popular shows such as Headline News, The Situation Room, and CNN American Morning, getting a huge leap on even Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. But why is Susie so different from the rest of the candidates? Because she has focused on something other than the war happening in Iraq. Other candidates, on average, keep repeating the same phrase with different words, “We need to get most of our troops out of Iraq.” The Iraq war may or may not be a lost cause, but Americans are certainly tired of hearing about the depressing death tolls coming from Iraq. It is already clear, by virtue of which candidates have raised the most money so far, that we will be leaving Iraq very soon.
Now that we know which direction we’ll be heading with the war, it’s nice to hear a candidate talk about a new issue. According to Ms. Flynn’s website, uninsured children are five times more likely to go 2 years without a doctor visit compared to insured children. She also points out that even though America spends nearly twice as much on health care per person than the average of industrialized countries, we still have high infant mortality rates. According to the 2005 est. CIA Factbook, the United States ranks at the 179th, while we are surpassed by over 40 countries, including Taiwan, Cuba, Liechtenstein, Canada, Germany, Japan, the UK, and most industrialized countries.
It’s a depressing statistic to know that 6.43 children die before age 1 in America, but what’s the real story behind Susie’s campaign for president? Susie is sponsored by the Children’s Defense Fund, a private, nonprofit organization supported entirely by foundation, corporate, and individual donations. (CDF has never received federal money). The Elect Susie campaign is part of their goal of passing the All Health Children Act (HR 1688), introduced to congress to simplify and expand eligibility of health coverage under Medicaid to guarantee children in all states all medically needed services. The bill also provides coverage for the pregnant woman as well for up to sixty days after the birth of the child.
In conclusion, the youngest candidate to enter the 2008 presidential race has no legal chance to win the election. But her strong message, to provide any and all children with the medical care they need, is a desperately needed focus for the nine million American children lacking health insurance.