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University of Wisconsin–Madison
Poverty-related issues in the news, from the Institute for Research on Poverty

Day: July 27, 2012

State Medicaid Expansions

  • Medicaid expansion may lower death rates, study says, By Pam Belluck, July 25, 2012, New York Times: “Into the maelstrom of debate over whether Medicaid should cover more people comes a new study by Harvard researchers who found that when states expanded their Medicaid programs and gave more poor people health insurance, fewer people died. The study, published online Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine, comes as states are deciding whether to expand Medicaid by 2014 under the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration’s health care law. The Supreme Court ruling on the law last month effectively gave states the option of accepting or rejecting an expansion of Medicaid that had been expected to add 17 million people to the program’s rolls…”
  • Study: New Medicaid expansion could be a lifesaver, By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar (AP), July 26, 2012, Columbus Dispatch: “States that expand their Medicaid programs under President Barack Obama’s health care law may end up saving thousands of lives, a medical journal report released yesterday indicates. Until now, the Medicaid debate has been about budgets and states’ rights. But a statistical study by Harvard researchers in the New England Journal of Medicine found a 6 percent drop in the adult death rate in Arizona, Maine and New York, three states that have recently expanded coverage for low-income residents along the general lines of the federal health care law. The study found that for every 176 adults covered under expanded Medicaid, one death per year would be prevented…”

Affordable Care Act and Safety-Net Hospitals

Hospitals fear cuts in aid for care to illegal immigrants, By Nina Bernstein, July 26, 2012, New York Times: “President Obama’s health care law is putting new strains on some of the nation’s most hard-pressed hospitals, by cutting aid they use to pay for emergency care for illegal immigrants, which they have long been required to provide. The federal government has been spending $20 billion annually to reimburse these hospitals – most in poor urban and rural areas – for treating more than their share of the uninsured, including illegal immigrants. The health care law will eventually cut that money in half, based on the premise that fewer people will lack insurance after the law takes effect. But the estimated 11 million people now living illegally in the United States are not covered by the health care law. Its sponsors, seeking to sidestep the contentious debate over immigration, excluded them from the law’s benefits…”

MinnesotaCare Expansion

Minn.’s health care safety net expands for thousands of kids, By Jennifer Brooks, July 27, 2012, Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune: “The state of Minnesota is expanding health care coverage to thousands of uninsured children. The new initiative, first approved by the Legislature in 2009 and finally implemented this month, will erase barriers such as waiting periods and monthly insurance premium payments for some 16,000 children from lower-income families across the state. Gloria Agbator wept when she heard the news. A single working mother, Agbator has health insurance for herself through her job, but she cannot afford the monthly premiums needed to include her three children on the plan…”

2012 Kids Count Report – Northeastern States

  • Kids Count study ranks Maine high for healthy kids and good communities, finds state lacking in education, By Susan McMillan, July 26, 2012, Morning Sentinel: “Maine does well in providing for its children’s health and family and community environments, but they fare less well in education and economic well-being. Maine ranked 13th among the states in the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual Kids Count report assessing children’s well-being. The three top states were New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont; among the New England states, only Rhode Island ranked lower than Maine…”
  • Survey: N.H. tops list for well-being of children, Associated Press, July 26, 2012, Seacoastonline: “New Hampshire continues to be the top state in a national survey of children’s well-being, according to a report released Wednesday. The Annie E. Casey Foundation Kids Count Data Book showed that the state improved in child education and health care, based mostly on 2010 data. Massachusetts was the second best state, followed by Vermont. Nevada, New Mexico and Mississippi were ranked the bottom three states, respectively…”
  • State is 3rd in Kids Count child well-being survey, By Molly Walsh, July 27, 2012, Burlington Free Press: “Life is looking up for Shayla Messier since she found her way to the green hilltop where the Family Center of Washington County sits. The 23-year-old single mom from Barre says her 2­year-old son Cole is thriving in the center’s child care program and she’s benefited from parenting classes that offer tips on everything from budgeting to stress man­agement. She’s earning a certificate in early childhood development and hopes to find a permanent job at a pre­school soon. Messier wants to get off public assistance and said the Family Center’s programs brought her to the following realization: ‘I didn’t have to be that single mom on Reach Up.’ Gov. Peter Shumlin and other state leaders gathered at the Family Center Wednesday to praise Vermont pro­grams for at-risk families and to announce the results of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2012 KIDS COUNT survey. It shows that Vermont ranks third-best in the nation for child well-being…”
  • Report: Pennsylvania ranks 14th in overall child well-being, By Angie Mason, July 25, 2012, York Daily Record: “Pennsylvania ranks relatively well among other states in a report on child well-being, but some advocates say the challenge will be making sure it stays that way. The 2012 Kids Count Data Book, released Wednesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, ranks states on overall child well-being, using 16 indicators in four categories – education, health, economic well-being, and family and community. Pennsylvania is ranked 14th overall. The state ranks eighth in the areas of education and health. The report shows more Pennsylvania kids are attending preschool, achieving reading proficiency in fourth grade and math proficiency in eighth grade, and fewer without health insurance. But the state ranks lower in other categories – 17th in economic well-being, and 23rd in family and community. The percentage of kids in poverty has increased, as well as the percentage of kids whose parents don’t have secure employment. Single-parent families have increased, too, according to the report…”
  • New York ranks 29th in nationwide analysis of children’s well-being, By Jennifer Thompson, July 25, 2012, Syracuse Post-Standard: “More children in New York state have health insurance and the teen pregnancy rate has dropped, but more children in the state are living in poverty and in single-parent families, according to a report released Wednesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. New York state ranks 29th in the nation in the foundation’s 2012 Kids Count report, which measures children’s well-being in the areas of health, economic security, education and family/community…”

2012 Kids Count Report – Western States

  • Oregon tumbles in report on kids, By Saerom Yoo, July 24, 2012, Statesman Journal: “An annual report that ranks the 50 states on the well-being of their children says that Oregon’s place has taken a dive.  The 23rd Kids Count Data Book, released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, ranks Oregon 33rd — a drop of 15 spots since last year.  The foundation measures child well-being using statistics about economic well-being, education, health, and family and community.  In previous reports, Oregon consistently ranked in the top 20 because of its positive performance on child health care. This year, the foundation focused more on economic and community characteristics, which are the indicators weighing on the state’s children, according to the report…”
  • Nevada takes hit on kids’ well-being, By Siobhan McAndrew, July 25, 2012, Reno Gazette-Journal: “Compared to the rest of the country, Nevada’s kids are more likely to live in poverty, come from a single-parent home and less likely to attend preschool or graduate high school on time.  Trailing just behind New Mexico and Mississippi, a report ranked Nevada 48th in child welfare indicators.  The low rankings in education, health and economic situations affect a child’s ability to succeed and thrive, according to the 2012 Kids Count Data Book released Wednesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The nonprofit has been collecting data from states since 1990 in an effort to create new initiatives and lobby lawmakers…”
  • Calif. sinks to 41st on kids’ well-being, By Neal J. Riley, July 25, 2012, San Francisco Chronicle: “Ranked highly among the states on child welfare issues last year, California is now one of the worst, according to a new report.  The Golden State tumbled from last year’s position of 16th to 41st on children’s overall well-being, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a national philanthropy group for children, reported in its annual rankings Wednesday…”
  • Kids Count report: Number of Utah kids in poverty up 45%, By Cathy Mckitrick, July 24, 2012, Salt Lake Tribune: “Utah is among 43 states where the number of children living in poverty has increased, according to the 2012 KIDS COUNT Data Book released Wednesday.  From 2005 to 2010, the number of Utah children living below the federal poverty threshold — $23,050 in gross annual income for a family of four— rose from 11 percent to 16 percent, roughly a 45 percent increase.  However, the Annie E. Casey Foundation study also ranks Utah 11th in the nation in terms of overall child well-being…”
  • Wyoming ranks in top half of states for child well-being, By Joshua Wolfson, July 25, 2012, Casper Star-Tribune: “Wyoming’s child and teen death rate inched up during the second half of the past decade, even as the national rate declined 15 percent, according to figures released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.  The rate of child and teenage deaths in Wyoming rose from 45 to 47, per 100,000, during the years 2005 to 2009. The national average decreased from 32 to 27 deaths over that same period.  The disturbing trend contributed to Wyoming’s poor health score in the foundation’s annual Kids Count report, which measures child well-being. The state ranked 47th in the nation in the health category…”
  • Montana behind neighbors in children’s well-being report, By Charles S. Johnson, July 25, 2012, The Missoulian: “Montana ranked 28th best nationally in some key indicators of children’s well-being, but once again trailed its four neighboring states, the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2012 Kids Count Data Book showed Tuesday.  The private foundation ranked states on their overall child well-being using what it calls four ‘domains,’ or categories: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. Within each category, there are four sets of measurements…”
  • National report gives Arizona poor marks in child well-being, By Michelle Reese, July 26, 2012, East Valley Tribune: “Arizona is not doing well by its children, according to an annual report released this week by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.  In fact, the 2012 KIDS COUNT Data Book shows only four states in the country are doing worse in terms of the overall well-being of children. Arizona dropped nine rankings from last year’s report.  Using economic, education, health, and family and community facts related to children in Arizona from 2005 through 2011, the foundation determined Arizona sorely needs to make improvements to a number of areas, including children’s access to health care and early childhood programs…”