In this week’s edition, Children’s Alliance asks what will happen to kids pushed by hard times into poverty. The Fuel Up First with Breakfast challenge gives school breakfast a good name, and a Children’s Alliance anti-hunger advocate says more of Washington’s hungry at food banks means higher need for government assistance. In other news, policy analysts present clear budget choices to protect children and families, and a new poll suggests that most Americans want affordable options in dental care.
Hard times bite deep in Washington: who will step up as the state steps away? | Crosscut.com | 10-04-2011
Jon Gould, Children's Alliance deputy director, said, “Plenty of families that are seeking services used to be self-sufficient” but now can't meet basic needs. These families “are going to extraordinary lengths to take care of their kids, going without food so the kids can eat, or taking in kids whose families couldn’t feed them.” …“What will happen to children who live through years of poverty?” Gould asked, and answered the question: “Data show that there are long-term effects on kids who fall into poverty even for a short time.”
'Fuel Up First' program encouraging students to eat breakfast | King 5 News | 09-26-2011
At Washington Elementary School in Auburn, dozens of students were lined up and ready to eat. Every morning the school provides a nutritious breakfast for its 450 students. As the students go through the line, you can see them pick from a variety of fruit, protein and grains. The school has just joined the Fuel Up First with Breakfast Challenge. "We know as educators how critical a healthy breakfast is to ensuring a productive and happy student," said Principal Pauline Thomas.
Pilot program provides free breakfast for Spokane students | Northwest Cable News | 10-04-2011
A pilot program for a new nutrition plan in the Spokane School District has nearly reached its goal, a month into classes. ... The district says starting the day with a full stomach is vital to the students’ education. "Every piece of data that I have read shows a child that is hungry, does not focus, does not learn, in fact does not test well," said Spokane School District official Doug Wordell.
Budget choices should include closing tax breaks | Schmudget blog (Washington State Budget & Policy Center |10-03-2011
As lawmakers, the public, and the media grapple with how to fill a $1.4 billion state budget gap, effective management of our state resources requires review and prioritization of all forms of state spending — from direct spending on education and health care to hidden spending on tax breaks for various businesses and individuals. However, there seems to be some skepticism about viable options. Just last week Governor Gregoire said, “No one can even identify $100 million, let alone $1 billion in savings by closing tax loopholes.” We disagree.
Doctors sue state over limits on ER visits | The Seattle Times | 09-30-2011
The lawsuit, which asks the court for an injunction, says the state did not follow proper rule-making procedures, ignored lawmakers' directions and is violating state and federal Medicaid laws, including "prudent layperson" standards governing the coverage of ER visits. Washington State Hospital Association spokeswoman Cassie Sauer said hospitals support the lawsuit as well. "We are absolutely not OK with how it has turned out," Sauer said. "The state is making bad policy and legislating bad medicine based solely on cutting the budget," with potentially severe consequences for some of the most vulnerable patients.
Economy hits hard for oral health care | Tacoma Weekly | 09-22-2011
Dental care for (the Utley family’s) children and themselves were consistently put on the back burner until their oldest daughter Reese, age 7, needed dental care that could not be ignored…But oral healthcare, which was once seen as a luxury or cosmetic expense, can lead to very serious health issues if ignored.
Poll: Americans Receptive To New Options For Affordable Dental Care | Capsules (Kaiser Health News blog) | 10-05-2011
The survey released Tuesday examines Americans’ barriers to dental care and asks them whether they would support dental therapists and other mid-level dental providers, who generally receive 3,000 hours of training, to provide routine care like cleanings and fillings, to make care more accessible. Seventy-eight percent of respondents said they would support the training of such dental practitioners to provide preventative, routine dental care to people without regular access to care.
Inequality Hurts: The Unhealthy Side Effects of Economic Disparity | PBS NewsHour | 09-28-2011
Paul Solman investigates the health effects that inequality can have on individuals and society. To determine the hidden costs, he speaks with epidemiologists, former six-figure income earners who are chronically unemployed and poor teenagers who struggle with inequality each day.