Fatima will never forget the day her older sister suffered her first seizure. News of epilepsy would bring sadness and stress for any family, but for her family, it also put them at risk of losing their home as they questioned how they’d pay for care.

Fatima remembers times when her sister went weeks without medication because her family couldn’t afford it, causing her sister to suffer uncontrollable epileptic seizures.

Fatima and her siblings were among the nearly 18,000 Oregon kids who are ineligible for health insurance under the Oregon Health Plan. For these kids and their families, a lack of health insurance means untreated illnesses, unfilled cavities, unhealed injuries and unnecessary trips to the emergency room. The result is often tragic: medical emergencies that turn into family bankruptcies, and preventable diseases that become chronic illnesses and jeopardize lives.

Fear and worry consumed my childhood. My mother would tell me not to play as rough as the other kids because I might break a bone or not to catch another cold because we couldn’t afford any more visits to the doctor.

At Fair Shot for All, we believe we can do better for kids like Fatima and her siblings. We’re fighting to extend health coverage to every kid who calls Oregon home.

It’s not right that Fatima and kids across Oregon are denied the coverage they need to grow up healthy. Tell your legislator it’s time to Cover All Kids.

For these children, health insurance means getting glasses to see the classroom blackboard. It means regular visits to the doctor to keep them healthy. It means fewer school absences for them and fewer missed days at work for their parents. And it means a better shot at graduating from college, getting a good-paying job and thriving throughout adulthood.

Oregon families are struggling enough. We can’t afford to have a medical emergency turn into a family bankruptcy.

Contact your elected officials today and tell them that covering all kids is key to building a stronger, healthier future for Oregon families.

Together with our partners like the Oregon Latino Health Coalition, we’re fighting hard to make sure that Oregonians have what we need to thrive— affordable health care, jobs that support our families, a stable home in a safe community. 

AuthorChristine Saunders