Commentary: Alaska, like other states, should invest in kids health

Alaska needs to get with it. Other states are showing us up with their commitment to paying for health insurance for children in working families even as the recession hurts state budgets. Earlier this year, Congress and President Obama significantly increased funding for the State Children's Health Insurance Program. States contribute funding to the program, though the federal government pays for most of it.

The program covers children and pregnant women whose families earn too much for them to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford to buy their own insurance.

Since the federal government increased its contribution this year, at least 13 states have expanded their programs, to cover 250,000 more children, the New York Times reported Sunday.

The states made decent health insurance for working-class children a priority even though 48 states faced budget shortfalls, said the Times.

Our state budget is better off than most due to oil tax revenues. Even so, Alaska, with one of the stingiest children's health insurance programs, did not see fit to expand it.

To read the complete editorial, visit adn.com.