Posts Tagged ‘ health insurance ’

Parents Daily News Roundup

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Single-Sex Schools Have Negative Impact on Kids, Says Study
Boys and girls may be opposites, but new research shows that in the classroom, separating the two sexes may not be the best way for either gender to learn and grow. (via ABC News)

Women Getting Unneeded Paps Post-Hysterectomy
Many women don’t need to be screened for cervical cancer after a hysterectomy, but a new study says most get the test anyway. (via NBC News)

Is the Medical Community Failing Breastfeeding Moms?
When women have trouble breast-feeding, they’re either prodded to try harder by well-meaning lactation consultants or told to give up by doctors. They’re almost never told, “Perhaps there’s an underlying medical problem—let’s do some tests.” (via TIME)

Obama Administration Okays More Health Insurance Marketplaces
Injecting a rare shot of bipartisanship in the nation’s contentious health care overhaul, the Obama administration cleared four Republican-led states to build their own consumer-friendly insurance markets on Thursday. (via NBC News)

An Embryo That Is Neither Male nor Female: Impact of Three Unexpected Sex Determination Factors Analyzed
So, is it a girl or a boy? This is the first question parents ask at the birth of an infant. Though the answer is obvious, the mechanism of sex determination is much less so. Researchers at the University of Geneva (UNIGE) attempt to shed light on this complex process by identifying the crucial role played by insulin and IGF1 and IGF2 growth factors, a family of hormones known for its role in metabolism and growth. (via ScienceDaily)

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The Fiscal Cliff: What All Parents Should Know

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

This post was written by Ann O’Leary, the director of the Children and Families Program at The Center for the Next Generation. The Center has recently launched a campaign called Too Small to Fail, a national movement to raise awareness about the state of America’s children and how the country can come together to create a stronger future for the next generation; we at Parents are one of its partners.

By now, most people who pay attention to the news have heard about the “fiscal cliff.” The problem: Most people don’t know what the fiscal cliff actually is, or how it will impact their families.

The term “fiscal cliff” is shorthand for a series of events that will occur at the end of 2012 that will impact how the federal government operates. These include automatic, across-the-board cuts to funds for schools with low-income and special needs students; increases in income taxes and the payroll tax, which fall primarily on middle-income families; decreases in tax credits to support working families and children; and the expiration of unemployment insurance benefits that help those experiencing long-term unemployment, including aid to many of the parents of the 6.2 million children who are living with unemployed parents.

How did we get here? It’s easy to forget that the way our government collects and spends its revenue is largely a statement about our values and priorities as a country. For example, the federal government invests $25,455 for every senior compared to $3,822 for every child. This doesn’t suggest that seniors shouldn’t be a priority–in fact, programs such as Social Security and Medicare have dramatically reduced poverty among seniors.

But it does beg the question: For a nation that claims to care about our kids, we’re not exactly putting our money where our values are. And the investments we are making–ensuring that all children have access to health insurance, that they won’t go hungry when their parents are out of work, and that our neediest children receive the federal aid they need to get a good education–are all at risk in the debate about the fiscal cliff.

The bottom line for parents should be that we won’t stand for cuts that pull the rug out from under our kids.

How We Got Here

The fiscal cliff is the result of an ongoing debate in Washington about how much debt the United States should carry, which revenue and spending policies will best help the economy grow, and whether the United States can sustain the level of commitments it has made to America’s seniors through Social Security and Medicare.

Leaders from both parties agree that the United States should reduce its debt and figure out how to reduce the growth in spending on Social Security and Medicare; to achieve these objectives, Congress passed a law in 2011 that requires execution of an agreement to control deficit spending–or face automatic cuts to the federal budget. That agreement never materialized, so as of January 1, 2013, the country will face $1.2 trillion dollars in automatic cuts to the federal budget. At the same time, a number of reductions to income and payroll taxes will expire. Mix them all together, and you have the fiscal cliff.

The Impact on Children and Families

When Congress agreed to automatically cut spending, they also agreed that there were some programs that were too important to cut. Among them are the programs that provide the most federal aid to children:

  • Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provide health insurance to about 40 percent of the children who have coverage
  • The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called food stamps); half of all SNAP recipients are kids
  • Social Security, which provides critical income assistance to children in families where a major breadwinner has died or is unable to work due to disability

The bad news: All of these programs are now being discussed as potentially back on the chopping block.

In addition, there are many federal investments that positively impact children’s lives that are not protected, and will automatically be cut–among them the $1.1 billion in funding for Title I schools, which are the schools with the most low-income children, and $903 million in federal funding that goes to states to help schools pay for the costs of aiding children with special needs and disabilities.

In the grand scheme of things, these programs don’t cost a lot of money–but they pay huge dividends. If our children are truly our greatest national asset, it is unwise to stop investing in them, particularly when it’s clear we already under-invest in the programs that can help them lead secure, productive and fulfilling lives.

If there’s any good news, it’s this: Parents are not powerless to influence the outcome of this debate. For one, Congress is generally responsive (yes, even in this cynical era) to calls, letters, e-mails and visits from their constituents. If enough parents from a single district contact their representative, you can really change the course of history. And there are also other avenues, such as the Too Small to Fail campaign, which is creating a national platform to make sure that parents–and kids–have a voice in the decisions that impact their lives.

Our kids are truly too small to fail; let’s not push them off the fiscal cliff.

 

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Hurricane Sandy’s Death Toll Climbs; Millions Without Power
Millions of people from Maine to the Carolinas awoke Tuesday without electricity, and an eerily quiet New York City was all but closed off by car, train and air as superstorm Sandy steamed inland, still delivering punishing wind and rain. The U.S. death toll climbed to 33, many of the victims killed by falling trees. (Associated Press)

Slimmer Future for Heavy Kids Who Get Help Early
Weight-loss programs can help even very young children slim down, and it appears that acting early may improve the odds of success, according to a pair of new studies. (Reuters)

Mammograms: For One Life Saved, 3 Women Overtreated
Breast cancer screening for women over 50 saves lives, an independent panel in Britain has concluded, confirming findings in U.S. and other studies. But that screening comes with a cost: The review found that for every life saved, roughly three other women were overdiagnosed. (Associated Press)

U.S. Set to Sponsor Health Insurance
The Obama administration will soon take on a new role as the sponsor of at least two nationwide health insurance plans that will be offered to consumers in every state. (New York Times)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Some Women Get New Benefits Under Obamacare
Beginning today, all new health insurance plans will be required to provide eight preventive health benefits to women for free, as mandated by the health care reform law Congress passed in 2012. (via CNN)

Bloomberg’s Breastfeeding Plan Angers Mom Bloggers
Breastfeeding experts are applauding New York City’s “Latch On NYC” initiative, which aims to encourage breastfeeding and curb baby formula use in hospitals, but some mommy bloggers are not happy, and they are taking their grievances online. (via ABC News)

Ob-gyns Recommend Annual Well-Woman Visit, Others Don’t Agree
Women should have a well-woman appointment with their doctor every year, typically including pelvic and breast exams, according to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, though there are varying opinions in the medical community. (via Reuters)

EU Approves Afinitor For Certain Breast Cancers
Swiss drug maker Novartis AG says it has received European approval to market Afinitor for treatment of women with the most common form of advanced breast cancer. (via Associated Press)

Chocolate Cravings Don’t Increase Before Menstruation
A recent study suggests that women’s cocoa cravings do not increase before menstruation. In addition, the stage of the women’s menstrual cycle did not affect their cravings for high-fat foods, or the amount of chocolate they ate. (via NBC News)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Cost of Children’s Health Care Hitting Families Harder
A child’s chronic illness can strain a family emotionally and financially — and children represent the fastest growing health care spending group in America, according to a new report.

Diabetes on the Rise Among Teenagers
A study found a sharp increase in the disease’s prevalence among teens, adding to worries that diabetes may progress more rapidly in children than in adults.

Fewer Girls Completing All Three HPV Shots: Study
Among girls and women who get their first human papillomavirus, or HPV, vaccine, the percent who complete all three doses is dropping, according to a new study.

Stay-at-Home Moms More Depressed than Working Moms, Study Finds
A Gallup survey of 60,000 women found that stay-at-home moms are more likely to have felt depression, sadness, anger and worry than working mothers.

Texas Sextuplets Improving, 3 Breathing on Own
A hospital official says three of the premature sextuplets born last month in Houston are now breathing on their own.

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Line Grows Long for Free Meals at U.S. Schools
Millions of students are receiving free or low-cost meals for the first time after their parents lost homes or jobs in the economic crisis.

Number of Kids with Health Insurance on Rise
Even with more children living in poverty because of the rough economy, the number of children without health insurance in the U.S. has dropped by 1 million in the past three years, according to a report released Tuesday by Georgetown University.

Pediatric Group Updates Meningococcal Vaccine Recommendation
The American Association of Pediatrics has updated vaccine policy recommendations for meningococcal vaccines, advising a booster dose be given three years later, to bolster immunity against meningococcal illness among teens and young adults.

Study: Kids’ Chickenpox Vaccine Helps Protect Babies Too
Not only is the varicella (chickenpox) vaccine safe and effective, but by protecting children who receive the vaccine, it also contributes to “herd immunity,” further safeguarding infants who are too young for the shot, according to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics.

Larger Brains Linked with Regressive Autism
Autism symptoms can appear in babies, however some children with the disorder develop normally until about age 2 when they suddenly regress. A new study has linked this second type of autism — regressive autism — with larger brain size in boys.

Restaurant’s Baby Surcharge Dishes up Outrage
A restaurant near London is drawing mommy-boos for charging £3 for lap infants. Even though the babies were breast-fed, and weren’t taking up a seat, restaurant employees told two new moms that their infants were “taking up space” and thus they had to pony up the equivalent of $4.65 U.S.

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Heading Soccer Balls Can Lead to Brain Damage, Study Says
Regularly heading a soccer ball—even just a few times a day—can lead to brain injury, according to a recent study.

What’s in a Name? Ask Google
In our still-budding digital world, where public and private spheres cross-pollinate in unpredictable ways, perhaps it’s not surprising that soon-to-be parents now routinely turn to Google to vet baby names.

Young Adults’ Coverage May Cost Parents Even More
An increasing number of employers are turning to “per participant” or “unitized” pricing so an employee’s payroll contribution increases with each dependent a worker adds to their coverage, according to Aon Hewitt, a large Chicago benefits consultancy.

Soldier Races Home from Iraq, Just in Time for Son’s Birth
Spc. Asbai Ramirez says he made it to the hospital on Thanksgiving about 30 minutes before his wife, Ashleigh, gave birth.

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Daily News Roundup

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Kids With ADHD Less Adept at Crossing the Street: Study
Parents of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder have one more worry to add to their list: Kids younger than 10 years old with ADHD may be unable to cross the street safely on their own.

Whole Kids Foundation™ to Support Childhood Health and Wellness
Whole Foods Market is pleased to announce the Whole Kids Foundation, a charitable organization that will provide children with access to healthy food choices through partnerships with schools, educators and organizations.

Sharp drop in U.S. chickenpox deaths with vaccine
Deaths from chickenpox, although rare, have dipped steeply after the U.S. began vaccinating against the virus in 1995, a new government report concludes.

Publicly Insured Kids May Get Less Comprehensive Care
A new study finds that U.S. children with publicly funded insurance get less comprehensive primary care than those who are privately insured.

To Reach Simple Life of Summer Camp, Lining Up for Private Jets
For decades, parents in the Northeast who sent their children to summer camp faced the same arduous logistics of traveling long distances to remote towns in Maine, New Hampshire and upstate New York to pick up their children or to attend parents’ visiting day. Now, even as the economy limps along, more of the nation’s wealthier families are cutting out the car ride and chartering planes to fly to summer camps.

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