Kris Calvin, Executive Director of the California Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, works for United Way as an advocate for children’s healthcare in the State of California. At the Malibu Rotary Club meeting on August 6, she explained the problem of the estimated 800,000 uninsured children in California, 40 percent of which reside in Los Angeles County, and requested input from various groups, including the California legislature in Sacramento, for solutions. Calvin also delineated California’s unique problems that make the healthcare problem worse, stating one problem being uninsured immigrants using the California public healthcare system without paying into it.
Parts of her advocacy of the issue stem from humanitarian, community, and business productivity aspects. In addition to the belief that all children should have health insurance, Calvin believes that their not having it affects public health, for example, by jeopardizing the quality of life of a whole community when children get a communicable disease and spread it to the rest of the population. From a business standpoint, she believes uninsured children cost businesses by having them lose workers who must stay home to tend to them when they get sick, and also by expecting businesses to pay for health insurance when many cannot afford it.
Though the issue is heavily debated, proposed solutions include the implementation of a Single Payer health system and an increase of tax business by seven percent.