Poor Children, Poor Health

All parents worry about the health of their children.

But a new study found that children in Texas have the poorest health in the United States. And more children in our area are affected than ever before.

A study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation links children's poor health to their parent's pocket books. More than 44 percent of poor children in the state have "less-than-optimal" health compared to 6.7 percent of children in high-income families.

The report says that families with higher education are more likely to have jobs that provide health insurance. But in today's economy, more local families, even those with high-paying jobs, have fewer health care options.

"We have seen an increase over the last several years because more and more families are losing their health insurance benefits," said Mark Miracle of the Women and Children's Center. "The employer cannot afford to provide that benefit any longer."

But you don't have to break the bank to provide health care for your family.

Miracle says there are several options for affordable health care in our area.

"First, go to a Medicaid office and get screened," Miracle said. "Just start the process there to get screened. And if they don't qualify for Medicaid, ask what programs they do qualify for."

Another option for poverty stricken families is the Women and Children's Center in Amarillo. They treat 100 percent of patients that qualify.