SCHIPs and Climate Change

One of the effects of global warming (besides the obvious higher temperatures) is an increasing amount of particulate matter in the air as dust blows and fires burn.  The health impacts on children are particularly severe as they develop lifelong ailments such as asthma.  The American Academy of Pediatrics has just issued a report warning about this issue at its annual meeting this week. According to Daily Grist, one of my favorite sources of environmental news:

 “Anticipated direct health consequences of climate change include injury and death from extreme weather events and natural disasters, increases in climate-sensitive infectious diseases, increases in air-pollution-related illness, and more heat-related, potentially fatal, illness,” said the report. “Within all of these categories, children have increased vulnerability compared with other groups.” The academy urged pediatricians to step up the call for climate action.

So in the future we can anticipate an increasing number of kids with life-threatening and lifelong illnesses.

What does this have to do with SCHIPs?

Well, just as we can project an increasing population of children needing ongoing medical care for chronic conditions,  the President pulls out his veto pen and says NO to  SCHIPs — and denies them the health care that they need.  It is a well-established principle that early diagnosis and treatment in a physician’s office  is better than crisis intervention in the ER.  The former is what SCHIP provides to American children  — especially now that we know that an ever-growing  population of children will need more and more medical care due to the effects of global warming.

As a matter of fact,  it would be a good idea to plan for this increasing number of children needing medical care due to the climate-induced diseases.  Why not plan for the expansion now?

But first, Congress needs to override the Presidential veto on SCHIPs and help America’s children get the medical care they need.

Explore posts in the same categories: climate change, global warming, politics, SCHIPs

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