Kids in the News, September 16, 2011

 

In this edition, the Children’s Alliance says that cuts won’t solve Washington’s growing hunger crisis, and school breakfast provides one solution to child hunger while priming students for success. Also, further cuts in response to the state’s revenue forecast would sacrifice jobs and hurt kids, and a new health policy threatens the lives of the most vulnerable Washington children. In national news, slashing public assistance programs and jobs will pull more families into poverty, and proposed changes to Head Start could mean more children will be better prepared for kindergarten.

State's medical ‘non-emergency' list is ill-advised – and dangerous | The News Tribune (Tacoma)| 09-15-2011
What is a medical “emergency”? Chest pain? No. Kidney stones? No. Congestive heart failure? No … according to the state of Washington. In an effort to cut $72 million from the budget, the state has decided that these conditions – along with 700 more – are not true “emergencies” and will not be covered for Medicaid patients who exceed three visits to the emergency room for such conditions. …This legislatively enacted policy unfairly targets children and the most vulnerable in our state. Children represent nearly two-thirds of the Medicaid patients in Washington. … Patients and parents may decide against seeking needed emergency care in fear of using one of their three allowable visits. This could worsen their health and leave conditions untreated – an especially risky scenario for babies, children and people with chronic conditions such as diabetes.
Further Cuts are Not an Option | PubliCola | 09-15-2011
So far, 90 percent of actions to deal with the economic effects of the recession have come through painful cuts to basic public services. As if that isn’t enough, Gov. Gregoire recently ordered state agencies to come up with another 10 percent in cuts. That’s another $1.7 billion on top of the billions we’ve already cut. Federal recovery dollars have dried up and deficit reduction could mean big cuts for Medicaid, Medicare, Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (food stamps), and other programs that help keep people out of poverty. We have a choice and it is simple. We can lay off more teachers, nurses, and childcare workers. We can cut healthcare for children and adults. Or we can end tax breaks for out of state banks and other special interests.
How Washington State Plans To Increase School Breakfast Participation | No Kid Hungry blog (Share Our Strength) | 09-14-2011
If each school across Washington state met the 50 percent participation goal, we estimate that the state could earn an extra $18 million in funding from federal child nutrition programs. This is a powerful incentive to lowering barriers to healthy, timely meals. “In a time when schools are asked to do more with less, it’s up to educational leaders to leverage every asset we’ve got,” says Dorn. “Despite the progress made in schools like this one, we can do much more. Funding for school breakfast can help many of our schools and students achieve greatness.”
More Washington Families Going Hungry and It Could Get Worse, Group Says | Birth to Thrive Online (Thrive by Five Washington) | 09-13-2011
“As more families face hunger now in a continued downturn, they need food assistance to stabilize them through hard times, help them raise healthy children, and stimulate economic recovery,” Jon Gould, deputy director of the Children’s Alliance, said in a statement. “Critical supports such as food stamps and federal nutrition programs have worked well to feed families and strengthen the economy. Cutting these supports would have a negative ripple effect, causing more economic distress and hardship.”
Census data shows critical role of public insurance as employer-based health coverage continues to drop | Schmudget blog (Washington State Budget & Policy Center) | 09-13-2011
As employer-based coverage declines and more people slip into poverty, Washingtonians will have a harder time accessing high quality, affordable health care. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), set to take effect in 2014, will eventually provide health coverage to Washingtonians who lack employer-based coverage ... In the meantime, our state should do everything possible to strengthen our public insurance programs so Washingtonians can ensure the health and well-being of their families and children.
Head Start: Making a Good Thing Better | The Huffington Post | 09-14-2011
The children who attend Head Start come from families and communities facing enormous economic and social challenges … Often, families who faced barriers to critically needed services in other settings get access to the services they need through Head Start. While we know through extensive research that Head Start helps prepare our most vulnerable children for kindergarten, we also know that we can do better. We want to ensure that more children benefit from quality Head Start programs, and that those benefits continue through their school years. That is why the Office of Head Start has launched a reform agenda that is bold, innovative, and built on the best evidence available.
USDA looks to get more meals to kids in summer | USA Today | 09-14-2011
The agency pays schools, churches and other nonprofits to serve summer meals to children in low-income neighborhoods, but … many children don't have a way to get there each day, said Crystal FitzSimons, who studies summer nutrition programs for … Food Research and Action Center. … To address the problem, the USDA has been testing a number of new approaches in Kansas, Missouri and 11 other states. … "A lot of households are struggling. This is a help to keep them on their feet and invest in their kids so they can learn and … be healthy," said the USDA's Jean Daniel.
Medicaid Means Quality Care And American Jobs | SEIU.org | 09-13-2011
Medicaid… provides the kind of healthcare jobs our communities need and thrive upon economically.
Editorial: The Cost of Inaction | The New York Times | 09-13-2011
The latest figures from the Census Bureau show the devastating cost of the recession and why putting Americans back to work must be Washington’s top priority. … Food stamps helped feed 40 million families in 2010, 50 percent more than in 2007. Slashing such spending now will only put more people out of work and drive more families below the poverty line.
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