Doctor and child, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Anoto AB’s photostream

Mayor addressing conference in Washington D.C. Tuesday

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 11, 2014) – In conjunction with meetings by the National League of Cities, Mayor William Peduto is addressing a meeting on Cities Expanding Children’s Access to Health Care. Excerpts of his remarks are below.

“Pittsburgh is so proud to be a part of this effort and we have already made great progress towards our goal of 100% healthcare coverage for children in four years.

The great thing about Pittsburgh is that we’re small enough that we can realistically achieve this but we’re big enough that our model can be used elsewhere and that national media will take notice of our work.

And one of the most important things we’ve learned — as the over 20 organizations and elected leaders involved in this project have met to develop a plan — is that healthcare enrollment is just the beginning.

Just getting children enrolled isn’t enough. We have to make sure they stay enrolled and that we take steps to reduce churn so that families get covered and stay covered.  We also have to educate families about preventative care and the need to see a family doctor regularly for check ups and basic care.

We’re involved in this project not just because we think healthcare enrollment is important — and it is — but also because it has such a major impact on other aspects of a child’s development from their educational achievement, to their likelihood to get involved in crime, to their future employment opportunities and the way they will raise their families one day.

Pittsburgh is excited to present the NLC with a plan that will get us to 100% and keep us there.”