Letters to the Editor

'Healthier communities'

I applaud the governor for putting the health care insurance issue front and center for all Californians to discuss. As the superintendent of Fresno County schools, I strongly believe that insuring all of California's kids is a great place to start.

Absenteeism due to illness costs school districts millions of dollars in reduced funding and results in a tremendous loss of instructional time for students. Insured children miss fewer school days, which leads to increased productivity in the workplace because their parents do not have to use as many days to stay home with a sick child.

Children with access to regular medical care are more likely to receive routine check-ups and less likely to suffer from preventable diseases. It just makes sense for every child to have access to good medical care.

Infectious illnesses do not draw the line between insured and uninsured kids. Everyone is vulnerable. Healthier kids make for a stronger, more competitive and more prosperous California. I urge our state government to act on our kids' behalf this year by making children's health care a top priority. Insuring children is one investment that will save us all money and help to produce healthier communities.

Larry L. Powell

Fresno County Superintendent of Schools