No Kidding! The Children's Alliance blog
Last Tuesday, six-year-old Zoe Osborne and her parents got a very special present in the mail: an Apple Health for Kids coupon. For Zoe and her parents, the legislature’s directive to finally start enrolling families whose coverage was suspended earlier this year isn’t abstract.
President Barack Obama is releasing the first installment of more than $339 million in new Medicaid dollars included in the stimulus package to states tomorrow (Wednesday, February 25). Washington state stands to receive more than $2 billion over the next 22 months on top of the federal Medicaid funds that normally flow into our state. This additional health care money should be used for health care programs, particularly to protect key health programs that are facing cuts in the state budget. (See the statement to this effect from the Washington State Hospital Association.) It’s also worth noting that Washington state needs to maintain current eligibility standards
We’ve shared the story of Sarah McIntyre and her mom, Vicky, who’s been fighting to get health care for her daughter. Now we’re delighted to report a happy ending. After a year-long rollercoaster ride, Sarah is getting the coverage she needs.
Details are still coming out about the stimulus deal U.S. House and Senate negotiators worked out in conference. The House approved the agreement this morning, and the Senate is expected to vote this afternoon.
We’ve gotten the lowdown on several of our key priorities, including estimates of what the stimulus could mean for children here in our Washington. The targeted support for kids should help us hold kids harmless as lawmakers cut their way to a balanced budget. Here’s the rundown:
The stimulus package that came out of conference included the higher House investments in early learning programs. $2 billion will go to the Child Care and Development Block Grant Program, which supports low-income families in obtaining quality child care. That will bring an estimated $33 million into Washington’s early learning programs. Plus, Head Start and Early Head Start programs are set to get $2.1 billion nationwide--an estimated $5.3 million for Washington state. Early learning took a hit in the budget the Governor