Report Gives California C Grade For Children's Health

Armen Hareyan's picture

California received a C average on health and education for the9.5 million children in the state, according to the annual State ofthe State's Children report card released on Thursday, the SanFrancisco Chronicle reports. The report also found racialand ethnic health disparities among children in the state.

Thereport card, scored by researchers at ChildrenNow, covers a range of issues, including health insurance,obesity, asthma, child care, infant and adolescent health, and publiceducation.


The state was graded a C on providing healthinsurance to children, compared with a B- last year. In 2005, themost recent year for which data were available, about 800,000children, or 7%, were uninsured, according to the report card. Thestate received a D+, its lowest mark, for obesity. About threemillion, or one-third, of the state's children are overweight orobese, according to the report. Asthma was included on the reportcard for the first time, and the state received a C-. About one-sixthof the state's children have asthma, according to the report.

Health Disparities Findings

About 12% of Hispanic children were uninsured, the highest rate ofany group in the state. In addition, about 25% of black children inthe state have asthma (Tucker, San Francisco Chronicle,1/3). Also, 34% of black children are overweight or obese. EllenStein, San Francisco's medical director for maternal and childhealth, said that health problems for black children come from theeconomic disadvantages of living in low-income neighborhoods (Upton,Washington Examiner,1/3).

Overall, grades changed little from the last two years,according to Children Now President Ted Lempert. "Policymakershave to stop saying kids are their priority when we have a long, longway to go," he said. State legislators pledged to make healthcare a priority last year and have pushed a comprehensive healthproposal through the Assembly. If the state Senate approves thelegislation, the bill would require voter support for funding (SanFrancisco Chronicle, 1/3).

Reprinted with permission can view the entire KaiserWeekly Health Disparities Report, search the archives,and sign up for email delivery at The Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report ispublished for, a free service of The Henry J.Kaiser Family Foundation.