Sir.—The May 1991 issue of AJDC clearly documents the deficiency of health care of poor children in the United States. Many address the issues of access to medical attention and the importance of insurance. A few1-4 suggest successful innovative processes that might be more widely adopted.
Johnston5 mentions a factor that is frequently overlooked, which is that "health is not a survival issue for poor people." Some have found that food, shelter, and jobs have much higher priority than health care and schooling. Certainly,"... we need a fundamental change in our national commitment. We need to behave as if children are really our most valuable resource and our future."6
One way to change is to encourage people to seek health care. Services that clearly benefit health should be rewarded. For example, parents should receive nominal amounts of cash each time they bring a child for timely
BARNESS LA. Health Care for Uninsured and Underinsured Children. Am J Dis Child. 1991;145(10):1086-1087. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1991.02160100017007