In this edition, you’ll read about the call for major changes to improve children's access to dental care – especially children in low-income families and communities of color, who have disproportionately high rates of dental disease. You’ll also find a story about streamlining the process of enrolling children in health coverage, and an opinion piece about why Congress should approve additional Medicaid matching funds to protect health care for kids and families.
Dental care for the poor will require shaking up the system I Crosscut I 06-22-2010
Millions of Americans, including children, live with dental pain, miss school or work as a result, and occasionally face life-threatening infections. Changing this for the poor, especially in rural areas, will require new ways of training practitioners and delivering services.
Expanding the Child Health Safety Net | Change.org I 06-21-2010
The landmark health reform legislation - The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 - signed by President Obama in March guarantees access to health coverage for 32 million people in America, including more than 95% of all children. One way to effectively enroll children in health coverage is through Express Lane Eligibility, which uses information from other means tested programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly the Food Stamp Program, now SNAP) to help identify and enroll eligible children.
Opinion: Congress should approve additional Medicaid money for states | Seattle Times I 06-18-2010
If Congress does not approve $24 billion in additional Medicaid money, the Washington Legislature will have to find a way to replace about $480 million in its budget. Guest columnists Remy Trupin and Rebecca Kavoussi argue the money is important for public health and education.
Important Early Funding Opportunities for States Emerging from Health Reform I Say Ahhh! Blog I 06-22-2010
We've said it before, but it bears repeating--we don't have to wait until 2014 to expand access to health coverage or to get started on reform efforts. Medicaid and CHIP coverage is already available to most of the nation's uninsured kids (and it's time to get them enrolled). Important benefits of the health reform law are also here already: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act contains a range of opportunities for states (and in some cases, other entities) to claim federal funds this year for new program options, demonstration grants, and extensions of existing programs. Other grants are available next year and in the future.
Opinion: Why 2/3 majority for tax increases is 'constitutionally suspect' I WashBucket I 06-20-2010
On its face, requiring anything other than a simple majority vote to decide the issues in a Democracy seems like a bad idea, not to say constitutionally suspect. Business interests, among others, see the two-thirds vote mandate of I-1053 as a bulwark against a Democrat-controlled Legislature bent on raising taxes and providing a path to economic recovery. They’re wrong.
Revenue to Remain Low for Foreseeable Future I schumdget I 06-21-2010
Each year, the cost of meeting key public priorities grows along with economic and demographic trends. In order to continue to fund programs that promote health, education, economic security, and community vitality, we will need robust revenue growth.
$203 million hole in state budget | The News Tribune I 06-18-2010
Opinion: Rep. Kelli Linville explains Legislature's work to streamline services I Bellingham Herald I 06-19-2010
The Legislature has a duty to deal with the fiscal emergency at hand. We must balance the need for long-term, structural reforms with maintaining some semblance of near-term stability for Washingtonians who depend on public schools, social services, and public safety programs. We still have a responsibility to put dinner on the table every night, so to speak, even as we work toward long-term changes.
Governor's office projects $3 billion shortfall for 2011-13 | Seattle Times - Politics Northwest Blog I 06-17-2010
After that, we'll develop a way to measure whether our investments are effective for both the taxpayer and the recipient of the service.
Infants, Toddlers and Precursors to Literacy | Early Ed Watch I 06-17-2010
Babies and reading: It may sound ridiculous to put these two words in the same sentence. But as new studies uncover connections between infants’ and toddlers’ early experiences and their later reading success, people within the field of education are taking note of what kinds of social experiences and language interactions are best for very young children.
Reports of misleading claims by backers of initiative to nix new state taxes on pop, candy | Seattle Times I 06-17-2010
Opponents of Initiative 1107 say the group's statements and website — www.stopgrocerytaxes.com — are trying to get signatures by misleading voters into thinking the state Legislature approved a broad-based tax on food. Besides candy, pop and bottled water, the only foods covered by the new taxes are certain processed foods such as canned chili. "The Legislature has not introduced a tax on food in Washington," said Sandeep Kaushik, a spokesman for Citizens to Protect Our Economic Future, which opposes I-1107. "This kind of deception is what happens when out-of-state interests are trying to protect their profits in our state."
Read More: Higher Prices = Less Soda Drinking I NYTimes.com - Economix Blog I 06-17-2010
Could Your Child Live on $8 a Day? I Equal Voice for America's Families I 06-15-2010
While we wring our hands about oil belching from the ocean’s depths and ethnic bile spewing from Arizona, a long-term crisis is quietly unfolding within millions of American homes. New data shows that the recession has left about 7 million children in extreme poverty – meaning that they live on less than $8 a day.