National Opinions

San Jose Mercury News: Obama must speak for our children

Barack Obama must speak for America's uninsured children. George Bush claimed to care, but when it came to health coverage, he left behind one out of every nine kids in the United States -- 8.6 million in all.

Few groups suffer more from government budget cuts than children, and it's no secret why. They don't vote. That's one reason why Bush dismissed pleas to expand the state children's health insurance program known as SCHIP. He also saw the program as a step toward a govern- ment solution to the nat- ion's health care woes, which he opposed.

Obama promises change in this as well as other areas. Caring for children is the mandatory first step toward overall health care reform, which Obama hopes to enact in the first months of his presidency. Expanding children's coverage would score an early win in that campaign.

Obama wants to signal a new day in America. Insuring all of our children would be a dramatic step in that direction.