Tuesday, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler released a report outlining losses for Washington’s families if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the Affordable Care Act. In other state news, a small business owner from Seattle speaks up for health care in Congress. In national news, child care cuts and proposed food stamp cuts in the Farm Bill put our economic stability, and kids’ futures, on the line, and 15,000 diverse voices across the U.S. convened to vote on what our country’s priorities should be for families in the 2012 election.
Private liquor sales start Friday in Washington. On the eve of the changeover, the state Supreme Court has upheld a voter-approved ballot measure to end the state's liquor monopoly. The justices on the Washington Supreme Court reached a speedy decision on a challenge to the liquor privatization push. But the ruling was a close one. Five members of the high court upheld the voter-approved ballot measure, while four dissented.
State insurance commissioner Mike Kreidler has already warned of slow-moving disaster if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down federal health reform. And on Tuesday his agency put out a report showing the benefits of the federal healthcare act on a county-by-county basis. In a nutshell , the report says 1 million Washington residents lack health care coverage and will grow to 1.1 million by the end of 2013. But reform would extend Medicaid coverage to 328,000 of the uninsured and give premium subsidies to another 477,400.
Jody Hall, owner of Cupcake Royale & Verite Coffee in Seattle, was in front a Congressional House Education and Workforce Committee in Washington, D.C., this week, telling of her support of President Obama's health-care reforms. The Washington, D.C., bureau of the Puget Sound Business Journal reports Hall, who employs 72 people at her cupcake businesses in Seattle, told Congress that offering health insurance is "an important part of our business values." "The shifting of uncompensated health care costs to businesses that pay for health insurance costs my business hundreds of dollars per employee per year. How is that fair?” Hall asked.
There are many risks involved with cutting the budget, such as increased number of starvation, homelessness and decreased number in those who can receive benefits. Eliminating this amount of funding would put families and their children at risk for not receiving the nutrition necessary in order to live a healthy lifestyle. In Washington State, 1.1 million people would be affected by the Ryan budget cuts and would decrease $2.71 billion in funding for the SNAP program. Families who currently receive help from the SNAP will suffer from not being able to afford food for their children and other family members.
The critical importance of food stamps | No Kid Hungry Blog | 05-29-2012
Share Our Strength recently submitted testimony to the Nutrition Subcommittee of the House Agricultural Committee after a hearing on the nutrition and SNAP portions of the Farm Bill. The Farm Bill is a huge piece of legislation with lots of interests at hand, so we wanted to weigh in on the critical importance of SNAP in our work to end childhood hunger. … Here’s an excerpt from the testimony: “At Share Our Strength, we have long seen firsthand how important SNAP is to families. Recently, individuals from across the country have written us to share the important role SNAP played during difficult times in their lives, and, most importantly, how the program allowed them to get back on their feet to a place where they no longer needed to rely on the program.
There is a broad political consensus that helping low-income parents pay for child care helps the economy. … But many states have had to slash budgets for such programs, leaving working families struggling to foot hefty child-care bills.
Federal lawmakers proposed a bill Thursday that would give social workers better access to school records in an effort to improve education for foster children. A federal law requires social workers to get a court order to access a foster child's school records, and it was meant to protect the child's privacy. But advocates said the extra red tape has made it extremely difficult for social workers because foster youths change schools frequently as they move between different homes. Some end up taking the same classes over because credits are lost or don't transfer.
Shattering stereotypes, overcoming cultural and language differences, and testing new technical skills, thousands of families, of all ages and ethnicities, gathered in person and online May 20 for the pioneering Equal Voice Online National Convention. … The event was hosted by Marguerite Casey Foundation and its grantee organizations. As many as 15,000 people from 30 states and nine countries participated in the online convention – webcast live from Birmingham, Ala., McAllen, Texas, and Seattle to communities around the country – to identify the issues they want to include in the 2012 Equal Voice for America’s Families National Family Platform. Votes are still coming in, but from the results of surveys and town hall meetings across the country before the event, education is the issue of most importance to the families. They also tapped housing, jobs, child care, health care, immigration reform, transportation, criminal justice, environmental issues, food security and LGBT rights to include in the platform.