“Most of our efforts to improve health have focused on improving quality, access to and affordability of care. While these are important, support for better health that is associated with resources and community matters as well,” says Commission Co-Chair Mark McClellan. “As a nation, we clearly need to do better…a large body of research shows that the causes [of poor health among children] are complex,” the report observes, “and that medical care interventions are important but not sufficient.”Equitable access to nutritious foods, high quality education, and clean, sanitary living conditions are just as important as access to high quality medical care. Here are her suggestions:
- "We should explore ways to provide jobs that pay a living wage to less-educated workers. For example, in these tough economic times, the government might invest in rebuilding our infrastructure—an investment that also would create jobs.
- Investments in safe playgrounds and subsidies for green-markets that locate in poor neighborhoods could help improve quality of life—and the health of children
- Low-income and middle-income children also need scholarships to help them go to college. In recent years, federal funding has favored financing loans that only more affluent families can afford; at the same time scholarship programs for low-income and median-income children have been cut. This trend should be reversed.
- Finally, we should find new ways to lift the quality of public education for low-income students. Richard Kahlenberg, a colleague at The Century Foundation, has written extensively about innovative programs doing just that."