In Washington state, a Farm Bill proposal cuts food stamps by $16 billion, affecting the two-thirds majority of Washington’s food stamp beneficiaries: children. In other state news, more affordable health coverage options will be available to more families, and health care for local tribal communities will improve as a result of the Affordable Care Act. A new report identifies opportunity and achievement gaps between children in immigrant families and their peers, and recommends culturally appropriate early education to fill the gap.
The Farm Bill isn't just for farmers, and other groups are weighing in with their concerns as the House version of the bill is taken up today by the House Agriculture Committee. Some of the biggest names on the food scene are using their celebrity clout to support the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps. The House bill cuts SNAP funding by more than $16 billion… "Without the food and nutrition that they need, kids face increased health, education, employment challenges. So, it's hard to imagine a stronger America with weaker kids." Half of the 46 million Americans using SNAP are children, Shore says. Of more than 1 million Washingtonians using SNAP, two-thirds are families with children.
Many will get Medicaid coverage at virtually no cost. Others will qualify for private insurance at a fraction of the full premiums. And health plans offered under the law will limit individuals' out-of-pocket expenses to about $6,250 per year or less - a bulwark against gigantic, unexpected medical bills. "It doesn't have to be cancer or a heart attack or even a bad car accident," said Karen Pollitz, a health policy expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation whose own son needed $15,000 worth of surgery after he broke his wrist while skateboarding at age 20. "Once you show up in the ER, it starts to cost you some money."
Despite having similar levels of working parents, children in immigrant families are not doing as well as their U.S.-born peers… The report has a set of recommendations to address the challenges immigrant families face, including: Federal, state, and local governments should increase their investments in PreK, as well as support an integrated PreK-3rd approach (linking PreK curriculum, standards, and assessment with those of classes from kindergarten through third grade).
Ten Washington programs that make home visits to families with babies are getting an infusion of more than $1.4 million to keep them going.
Deep within the pages of the Affordable Care Act is a section that is now a permanent fixture, the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling. This is an important part of the law and its success has broad implications for health-care reform.
Sixty-one Washington state public schools recently received awards for improving the nutritional quality of the foods they serve to students. Those schools joined the 21 others who won the award in December… Having healthful food to eat helps students learn, especially those from lower income families.
Medicaid’s stimulative effect | The Washington Post | 07-10-2012
Researchers find that a dollar of Medicaid spending increases spending both in the health-care sector and in other industries. “For every dollar that a state spends, federal funding filters through the state economies,” says Robin Rudowitz, associate director for the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. “That tends to go both into health service vendors as well as other sectors.”
By ruling in favor of the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court allowed millions of young people of color to continue benefiting from a more equitable health care system.