Under a Joint Resolution of Congress in 1928, the first Monday of October has been designated Child Health Day. The day is meant to put the focus on children and their health care. Calvin Coolidge was the first president to issue a Child Health Day Proclamation as a response to activist groups who were concerned mainly about child labor. Trump, acting as the 45th president, issued the proclamation on Monday regarding the significance of the day. All of the presidents between him and Coolidge signed the proclamation as well. Apparently, it’s as American as apple pie even though most of us have never heard of it.
The proclamation was riddled with clichés and expected word vomit. One section was rather intriguing put into perspective. Trump wrote:
On Child Health Day, we commit to protecting and promoting the health and well-being of our Nation’s young people. How we treat our young people is a fundamental test of who we are as a society … As a father, I know the hope and joy children bring to our lives. They are society’s most precious treasures and our most vulnerable population. We all share the moral responsibility to protect the health of our children, born and unborn, so they have the chance to achieve their potential.
Unfortunately, Trump has the sincerity of American cheese. The day before Child Health Day, Congress let the Children Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) expire. According to The Washington Post:
The program, created under a 1997 law passed with bipartisan support during the administration of President Bill Clinton, provided coverage for children in families with low and moderate incomes as well as to pregnant women. It was instrumental in lowering the percentage of children who were uninsured from nearly 14 percent when it started to 4.5 percent in 2015. It was last reauthorized in 2015 and was due to be renewed by Sept. 30, 2017.
Amid unsuccessful efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the Republican-led Congress allowed the CHIP deadline to pass without action.
So, as Trump issued his empty proclamation, he knew that CHIP had expired the day before – or maybe he didn’t know. I would almost put money on him not knowing. Around nine million children are currently on CHIP. That’s a lot of kids that may face losing affordable insurance. Meanwhile, we are failing that “fundamental test” Trump mentioned in his empty proclamation.
If the test of who we are as a society is how we treat our children, we are a piss-poor society. It is truly a shame that those in Congress have more interest in children as an ideal, a fetus, if you will. Once that child emerges from the womb all bets are off. They are left to fend for themselves like everyone else who gets in the way of an agenda.