In this edition, Seattle Times columnist Lynne Varner reflects on election results, mentioning the work of the Children’s Alliance. Also, Publicola explains what the outcome of the statewide ballot measures means for health care in the state. A University of Washington health care study shows that poor oral health disproportionately plagues children in poverty, children of color and those with disabilities, and a new dental health care model shows promise for the future of access for underserved populations.
Opinion | Time for a much-needed shower and a new round of 'yes we can' | Seattle Times Newspaper | 11-3-2010
Looking back with clarity presented by the clearing smoke, we can all agree that it was a hellish election, whether you were a Democrat battling to retain power or a Republican fighting tea party enfant terribles for airtime. This past election will go down as the most expensive midterm contest and one of the most cantankerous in the history of American democracy.
Election Verdict: Washington Voters Love Their Government, They Just Don’t Want to Pay for It. | Publicola.net | 11-3-2010
While anti-tax sentiment was loud and clear last night—’No’ high-earners’ income tax; repeal the soda, candy, and bottled water tax; no paying for public school green retrofits; and ‘Yes’ on Tim Eyman’s requirement that legislators need a two-thirds majority to raise taxes, there was some other news last night as well…With the state facing a projected minimum budget deficit of $4 billion in the coming biennium, the Governor and legislature will have no other options than to make deeper cuts, on top of the $290 million most recently cut from health care and $1 billion in cuts to health care programs over the past two years.
Local News | Voters reject state income tax, candy-soda tax | Seattle Times Newspaper | 11-2-2010
Voters slapped down tax increases on Tuesday, leaving state lawmakers to close a projected $4.5 billion budget shortfall on their own…By large margins, voters said no to a proposed state income tax, no to taxes on soda, candy and bottled water approved by lawmakers this year, and yes to an initiative that will make it more difficult for the Legislature to increase taxes in the future.
Village lessons on the dental access crisis: Alaska’s program a potential model for the lower 48 | Health Policy Hub | 10-26-2010
Oral health is essential to overall health, yet nearly 50 million Americans lack access to a dentist for routine oral health care. There are 4,000 federally designated dental professional shortage areas in the U.S. Nearly 9,700 new dental practitioners are needed to overcome our nation’s dental care shortage. Therefore many communities around the country struggle to attract and retain dental providers. However, St. Mary’s and other Alaska Native communities are leading the way in developing a robust workforce by training providers from their own communities – a potential model for communities across the country that are grappling with a shortage of dental care.
Toothache more common among minority and special needs children | Medical Daily | 11-1-2010
"Toothache is a source of chronic and often severe pain that interferes with a child's ability to play, eat and pay attention in school," the authors write as background information in the study. The authors also note that "the most common cause of toothache is dental decay" and the "process of dental decay is one that optimally would be prevented or, at the very least, identified early and then arrested through provision of regular professional dental care. However, for some U.S. children, including those who are Medicaid-insured, access to preventive and restorative dental care is more difficult."...Charlotte Lewis, M.D., M.P.H., and James Stout, M.D., M.P.H., both of the University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, studied data from the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health to determine the prevalence of and risk factors for toothache in children.
Obama, Biden mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month with new programs - The Oval: Tracking the Obama presidency | USA Today | 10-27-2010
"Domestic violence and sexual assault are not just criminal justice issues," the White House fact sheet on the event says. "The scope and far-reaching effects of violence require a coordinated response across the federal government." Among the chilling statistics: one in four women experience domestic violence during their life; more than 20 million women in the U.S. have been victims of rape; 15.5 million children are exposed to domestic violence each year…the White House, Obama and Biden will highlight…A new $1.5 billion maternal, infant and early childhood home visiting program for states to try to identify and reduce domestic violence.
Podcast: Launching 12 Studies of Home Visiting Programs | Early Ed Watch (blog) - New American Foundation | 11-2-2010
A few weeks ago, the Pew Home Visiting Campaign announced grants for 12 new research projects to pinpoint what works in home visiting programs. The studies, which will be conducted around the country, are designed to provide answers to a multitude of questions, such as how to involve fathers in these programs, what kinds of tools work best to evaluate their quality, and what kind of intensity (how many visits per month? how long should the visits be?) makes a lasting impact on children's growth and development.