100,000 kids covered and counting

The All Kids Covered Initiative, a coalition of partners committed to improving health care for Colorado kids, recently celebrated the milestone of health coverage for more than 100,000 children since Governor Bill Ritter took office in January 2007.

John Arigoni, president and CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver, greets Gov. Bill Ritter and Joan Henneberry, executive director of Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, at the All Kids Covered event.
Photo by John Schoenwalter/The Colorado Statesman
Will Hammer, 7, wearing a cast after a recent fall, at the “Another 100,000 Kids and Counting” event. His mom is Gretchen Hammer, executive director of Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved.
Photo by John Schoenwalter/The Colorado Statesman
Gov. Bill Ritter poses with members of the Paredes family of Denver, along with other Boys and Girls Club participants.
Photo by John Schoenwalter/The Colorado Statesman
Executive Director of Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing Joan Henneberry tells visitors, “Unlike many health problems facing kids in our country today, a lack of coverage is something we can
collectively solve.”
Photo by John Schoenwalter/The Colorado Statesman

“By strengthening health coverage for children, we are doing the right thing for our children and state,” said Governor Bill Ritter. “But we have a long way to go. We can’t stop until every child has coverage. We need to make it as easy for children in Colorado to get health insurance as it is for them to check out a library book.”

Since January of 2007, Ritter’s Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) has ensured health coverage for almost 83,000 children through Medicaid and nearly 23,000 through CHP+, for a total of 106,000 kids.

“Unlike many health problems facing kids in our country today, a lack of coverage is something we can collectively solve,” said Joan Henneberry, HCPF executive director. “We are making real progress. It’s time to finish the job.”

Despite significant strides made during the past several years, thousands of Colorado children remain uninsured. Organizations like All Kids Covered and other community partners will continue to work with Ritter and Henneberry to educate families about health coverage opportunities and enroll eligible children in public health care programs.

“Providing health coverage helps ensure our kids have the opportunity to grow into healthy adults, who live, work and thrive in every Colorado community,” said Gretchen Hammer, executive director, Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved and All Kids Covered Lead Partner. “We are grateful for Governor Ritter’s leadership and the tireless efforts of his administration, and know it does not compare to the peace of mind felt by the families of the over 100,000 kids who have been able to access care as a result.”

All Kids Covered includes the Colorado Children’s Campaign, Colorado Covering Kids and Families, and Metro Organizations for People.