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Child Advocates: Voters Should Press Candidates on Kids' Health Issues

Posted October 30, 2000

— With the election just days away, advocates for children are urging voters to ask candidates some tough questions.

TheNorth Carolina Child Advocacy Institutehas released its sixth annual report card on child health. The results are a mixed bag.

The group announced its results at a press conference Tuesday morning at the State Capitol.

There are some encouraging signs. For example, more children now have health insurance. But the state is not doing well in preventing child abuse and neglect.

Advocates for children are asking voters to give kids a voice at the polls.

"We encourage voters to press candidates in the final days of the campaign to declare where they stand on key health issues for children," says the organization's Jonathan Sher.

North Carolina's state health insurance program for low-income children has exceeded expectations in enrollment. New lawmakers will have to decide whether or not to let more children into the program.

Few lawmakers are talking about funding for programs which help prevent child abuse, neglect, substance abuse and obesity. Yet, these are areas where North Carolina is getting low marks.

"Ask yourself with each and every vote you cast, who is for kids and who is just kidding," Sher says.

Advocates say child health has simply been a non-issue in this election, and voters need to ask candidates where they stand before they go to the polls.

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