Via Wonkbook, this morning, the Foundation for Child Development released its annual report on the well-being of America’s children, and it should send shivers
Via Wonkbook, this morning, the Foundation for Child Development released its annual report on the well-being of America’s children, and it should send shivers down the spine of every legislator and economic policy analyst in Washington. The report shows that on a number of metrics, particularly relating to the economic and food security of children, the recession has caused serious — sometimes even generational — setbacks.
The worst has yet to come. Our research shows that conditions for children deteriorated through 2009 and are projected to bottom out in 2010. Virtually all the progress made in the family economic well-being domain since 1975 will be wiped out. Families, schools, neighborhood and community organizations, and governments continue to cope with budget cuts and the loss of jobs, producing the anticipated “lag time” in economic recovery.
Some of the worrying data points: **
The report amounts to an extraordinarily compelling argument for a strong social safety net — for food aid, unemployment benefits and things like the COBRA extension. One bright spot: Recent legislative victories have helped maintain the proportion of children with access to health care and health insurance. “Of all of the Key Indicators in the Family Economic Well-Being Domain, the health insurance indicator will be the least negatively impacted by the current recession. The main reason is that health insurance coverage for children is substantially impacted by public programs, such as the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and other publicly financed health care programs,” the report notes. “The percentage of children in families with some form of health insurance likely will remain relatively stable at around 90 percent, as in recent years.”
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