In this edition, Edmonds City Councilmember and business owner Strom Peterson agrees with the Children’s Alliance’s stance on Initiative 1107 and makes a public argument against I-1107 in favor of serving children and families. Also, this week’s news features local and national support on child-only health insurance plans, early learning and a good forecast for the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act.
A growing coalition of advocates for children, the elderly and education
— including the Children’s Alliance, the AARP, Community Health Network
of Washington, Elder Health Northwest, Washington Association of
Churches, Citizens to Protect Our Economic Future, the Washington
Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Washington State
Public Health Association and many more — have joined together to oppose I-1107. In these tough times, we can’t afford to give big, out-of-state
special interests tax breaks at the expense of Washington families.
It's illegal for health insurers to stop selling coverage to children while
continuing to sell to adults, according to Washington's insurance
commissioner, who on Friday filed a cease-and-desist order against the
Regence Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies in Washington. Regence is violating a Washington state law that prohibits insurers from denying
insurance to people on the basis of age, according to Washington
Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler.
Regence announced late last month that it would stop offering child-only plans. That came right after new federal rules mandating coverage of
childrens' pre-existing conditions. On Friday, state Insurance
Commissioner Mike Kreidler ordered Regence to resume covering children. He says it's illegal under state law to deny insurance to someone based on their age. Kreidler says Regence currently has about 2,500 child-only policies.
Families might seek to insure only their children if they can’t afford family
plans or can’t cover children on their employer-based policies. But insurers worry the plans will be unprofitable now that health reform requires insurance plans to accept children without regard to pre-existing conditions...Existing child-only policies are being served, but the largest insurance companies have stopped selling new plans. Only a small number of families are thought to be affected by the change, but child advocates accuse insurers of backing out of a commitment to provide children with care.
Danielle Ewen: Bottom Line: Let's Truly Invest in Children | Huffington Post | 10-22-2010
Regardless of which goal it is addressing, early childhood education is an area of public policy that faces many challenges such as limited funding, as it tries to reconcile parental needs and children's development, and
address hardships associated with growing poverty. The Brookings
Institution and the National Institute for Early Education Research
(NIEER) waded into this conversation with a new compendium, Investing in
Young Children: New Directions in Federal Preschool and Early Childhood
Policy. The various essays are thoughtful, well-researched and
important for helping the field address its many challenges, yet in many
ways they also avoid discussing the daily reality of early childhood
education for millions of families.
Yesterday, (Chef Sam) Kass, who also serves as the senior policy adviser on Healthy Eating Initiatives, told a conference of 400 chefs and
children's health/anti-hunger advocates that the White House remains
excited and optimistic about the bill's prospects during the next
session in November. ..The nutrition bill had been languishing in the
House before Congress recessed to campaign for the midterm elections.
The landmark bill, which unanimously passed the Senate over the summer,
would allow the U.S. Department of Agriculture to set nutritional
standards for all school food, expand school breakfast programs, and
slightly increase the reimbursement rate for meals.
Interfaith Community Health Center is taking a hard look at whether it will be
able to use a $1.07 million federal grant to expand medical and
behavioral health services at its Unity Street location..." The challenge
for us is coming up with the remaining balance of the money," said
Desmond Skubi, the center's executive director...The expansion is expected to cost more than $2.3 million, Skubi said. The challenge is
compounded because Interfaith - along with other community health
centers in Washington - is grappling with a bleak budget outlook for the
state that is leading to deep cuts in Medicaid, which helps pay for
health care for the needy, disabled, the elderly and for low-income
families with children.