child health data
Candidate Survey on California's Kids
Responses: Michael Berryhill
Office: U.S. House District 18
Q1: If you could tell California voters one thing about your commitment to the health and well being of children, what would it be?
My commitment to children's health is the same commitment I have to my own children and grandchildren. I have nine children and eleven grandchildren. These are the rising generation and we must protect their health.
Q2: In the past decade, Californian voters have consistently ranked children and child-related issues as a top priority, yet state programs that support children frequently lack adequate resources to fulfill their missions. If elected, what steps would you take to make the health and well being of children a higher priority in California?
My first goal as a Congressman will be to restore the economy, and reduce stifling business and economic regulations. When our economy is restored to good health, then we will all have much more resources to commit to good causes and charities such as LPFCH. When families are employed financially, they are in a much better situation to adequately deal with the health of their children and they can afford to eat more nutritious food.
I have already been working with dairymen and others in farming in this area to raise the nutritional value of milk and food in schools. I would enjoy working closely with LPFCH in order to learn more about how to support this effort through your great organization.
Q3: How would you leverage the newly enacted health care reform legislation to benefit children in California?
My first goal will be to defund the Health Care act as it is the wrong method to improve health care for America. If we create tort-reform and allow insurance agencies to operate across state lines, then we will save hundreds of billions in costs and resources. I feel we need to eliminate the Obama Health-Care reform so we can then properly direct our funds to attack our health care issues using the system we have rather than trashing it and starting over. We must use quality organizations such as LPFCH to help resolve these problems.
Q4: Statewide, 10 to 15 percent of families have a child with a special health care need -- a chronic physical, developmental, or behavioral condition that requires more than routine health and related services. As the fact sheet below illustrates, California ranks last in the nation on a minimum quality-of-care index for children with special health care needs. If elected, how would you address this situation?
It will take some time and effort to understand the best way to approach this problem; but to know that California's ranks last in the minimum quality-of-care index is clearly tragic and unacceptable. I believe the best way to address this is to work closely with LPFCH to introduce and pass laws that will benefit children. As a Grandfather of an autistic child, I realize the challenges facing families, and little ones with special health care needs, and I have a special focus on getting these childhood problems addressed and under control at as early an age as possible. In addition, we must do more research on the causes of childhood health problems to know what we are up against and what needs to be done to prevent even greater problems in the future. If I get elected, as a Congressman from California, I intend to focus on getting to the bottom of these issues.