Most Santa Clara Children Have Health, Dental Insurance, but Problems Remain, Report Finds
The 2005 Santa Clara County Children's Report indicates that the "physical health and emotional well-being" of children "in one of the wealthiest areas of the country" are "poorer than advocates would like," the San Jose Mercury News reports.
The report, comprised of results from several surveys, found that most children in the county have health and dental insurance. In addition, fitness levels among Santa Clara County children are higher than those among children in other counties, and rates of child abuse, teen pregnancy and teen smoking in the county have decreased in the last year, according to the report.
However, the report also found that:
- 19% of ninth and 11th graders in Santa Clara County said that they considered suicide in the last year, and more than 8% said that they attempted suicide;
- 33% of 11th graders in the county said that they consumed alcohol in the previous month, and 16% said that they smoked marijuana; and
- One in five Santa Clara County children ages five to 19 are overweight.
Summaries of editorials addressing Children's Health Initiative programs are provided below.
San Jose Mercury News: Santa Clara County children "generally have dental and health care," a trend that highlights the "genius" of the Children's Health Initiative launched by the county in 2001, a Mercury News editorial states. Eleven other counties have established similar programs, which helps "get low-income kids signed up for existing health plans their parents didn't know they qualified for" and "raises public and private money to provide low-cost insurance to remaining kids who fall through the cracks," the editorial states. Universal health coverage for children "almost seems within reach," according to the editorial (San Jose Mercury News, 3/4).
- San Luis Obispo Tribune: The "challenge" of the San Luis Obispo County Children's Health Initiative is to "find -- and enroll" -- the 3,000 county children without health coverage, a Tribune editorial states. More than 1,000 uninsured children were admitted to county emergency departments in 2004, which accounted for more than $250,000 in uncompensated care, the editorial states (San Luis Obispo Tribune, 3/1).