The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has long given high priority to improving the health and well-being of children, although this has never been articulated as one of its specific goals. Over the past quarter century, it has awarded almost 9,000 grants for these purposes. The Foundation has funded regional perinatal networks, large maternal-child health programs, community-based substance abuse programs, and initiatives to reduce childhood injuries, to name just a few. Some of the Foundation-funded programs to improve children's access to health care services have been discussed in the Anthology series: school-based health clinics (2000 Anthology), mental health services for children (1998–1999 Anthology), and childhood immunization programs (1998–1999 Anthology).
In this chapter, Marguerite Holloway, a contributing editor to Scientific American and an adjunct professor at the Columbia University School of Journalism, examines the Foundation's efforts to secure health insurance for children whose parents do not have coverage.