Health and Poverty News
"Chicago’s Southeast Side is a working-class area in a period of transition, moving from an industrial past with strong roots in steel to a revitalized present. Along the way, the community is facing a considerable problem: what to do with the remnants of industry, including polluted and closed sites."
"While health benefit exchanges have succeeded in signing up very low-income individuals, they struggle to attract middle and higher income members, a new study shows. At the close of open enrollment in 2015, the 37 states that use the federal marketplace had enrolled 76 percent of eligible individuals with incomes from $11,700 to $17,655, but participation rates declined dramatically as incomes grow, according to a study by Avalere Health."
"A new analysis of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act shows the law of supply and demand at work. Enrollment through exchanges drops significantly as income rises, according to Avalere Health, an advisory company in Washington, D.C."
"What Obamacare gives, it can take away – at least if you got a pay increase over the last year. About half of subscribers who received federal subsidies to buy private insurance plans will owe an average of $794 in repayments, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation released Tuesday. The repayments come if a subsidy recipient’s actual income was higher than their projected income."
"People in the more than two dozen states that expanded Medicaid under the health-care law are far more likely to be newly diagnosed with diabetes than those in states that did not expand Medicaid, according to a study being published Monday."
"Interviewing women at a breast-imaging center in an urban safety net institution before and after they used a "mHealth" mobile health app on a tablet, Elissa Ozanne, PhD from Dartmouth's Norris Cotton Cancer Center and colleagues concluded that older, diverse, and low income women found it easy to use and acceptable."
"New research suggests the benefits of a good breakfast extend to the cognitive arena as investigators find a strong connection between good nutrition and good grades. In the study, University of Iowa investigators discovered free school breakfasts help students from low-income families perform better academically."
"Barriers to the implementation of diabetes prevention programs in low-income primary care settings include issues with effective patient identification, recruitment and retention, according to study findings."
"A Republican bill touted as an alternative to the governor's plan to expand Medicaid to 70,000 low-income Montanans would create a state fund to cover 'catastrophic' healthcare costs for some adults who do not have children."
"When doctors recommended that Maura Rosario get a colonoscopy, she worried about how to pay for an estimated $1,500 exam with no insurance and limited funds. But those worries were recently put to rest thanks a $50,000 American Cancer Society grant that allows the North Texas Area Community Health Center to help patients like Rosario pay for screenings."
"If left untreated, depression can exacerbate the risk of poor nutrition and obesity among low-income people who live in food deserts — neighborhoods with limited access to healthy food and fresh produce — a recent study has confirmed."
"According to a report last month by the Economic Policy Institute, “real hourly wages have declined for 90 percent of the workforce with four-year college degrees since 2007.” It’s called wage stagnation.
How much harder must it be for low-income and unemployed people to put food on the table. In a report on hunger in America released in December, the U.S. Conference of Mayors noted a steep rise in request for emergency food assistance in the Washington area. High rents and escalating food costs were major causes — and the problem was expected to worsen in 2015."
"President Obama should come back to Florida and make another speech. This one should map out a plan for how our low-income citizens can access healthcare at a cost they can afford. If President Obama is serious about driving down healthcare costs (which he said was the goal of Obamacare), he will reform the exchange system so around $5 billion in federal funding flows directly to 1.6 million individual healthcare accounts, like Health Savings Accounts, where Floridians currently on the exchange can each receive the $297 a month the Obama administration today pays to the 14 insurance companies who sell policies on the federal exchange in Florida."
"Workplace injuries are driving low income Americans deeper into poverty, and casting middle class workers into economic dire straits, a government report said Wednesday."
"HUD has awarded $150 million in rental assistance to 25 state housing agencies, with the goal of preventing individuals with disabilities from being institutionalized or possibly falling into homelessness. In turn, the state agencies will provide permanent affordable rental housing and needed supportive services to nearly 4,600 households who are extremely low-income persons with disabilities, many of whom hoping to transition out of institutional settings."
"If the state and federal government can't reach an agreement on Florida's Low Income Pool program, Gov. Rick Scott won't backfill with program with state dollars, he said Wednesday."
"Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday tried to increase pressure on the federal government to continue funding for a program that hospitals say is critical to providing care to low-income and uninsured patients."
"When you ask people what impacts health you'll get a lot of different answers: Access to good health care and preventative services, personal behavior, exposure to germs or pollution and stress. But if you dig a little deeper you'll find a clear dividing line, and it boils down to one word: money."
"Richard Reeves and Joanna Ventor of the Brookings Institution have a new paper out examining the impact income level has on unintended childbearing among single women.* They found that women have about the same amount of sex regardless of class, but poorer women are five times as likely to have unintended births than more affluent women. A huge chunk of the reason, they conclude, is because of the gap in abortion and contraception access."
"The potential loss of Low Income Pool dollars, and the lack of a plan to replace this program, will dramatically impact millions of individuals and families who are low income, among the working poor, as well as Medicare and Medicaid recipients throughout Florida. More than 1.1 million patients, who receive their health care from Federally Qualified Health Centers, could be affected most directly."
"About 150,000 low-income adults in Wisconsin might have to start paying premiums to keep their Badger-Care -- and they might have to pay more if they smoke, or engage in other risky behaviors. The Legislative Fiscal Bureau uncovered those proposals when it analyzed Governor Scott Walker's two-year, $68-billion budget package. It said the governor would need a federal Medicaid waiver to charge premiums for the first time to the lowest-income childless adults on Badger-Care Plus."
"Mothers with healthy pregnancies enroll in the course during their third trimester. Classes are timed with their child's checkups at the hospital, until age three. They touch on a variety of topics like the importance of breastfeeding, to teaching parents to recognize when their children are full."
"The potential loss of Low Income Pool (LIP) dollars, and the lack of a plan to replace this program, will have a dramatic impact on millions of individuals and families who are low income, among the working poor, as well as Medicare and Medicaid recipients throughout Florida. More than 1.1 million patients, who receive their health care from Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), could be affected most directly."
"Due to an unexpected federal policy reversal sought by advocates for nearly 10 years, schools could start billing Medicaid for health services such as asthma screenings, vaccinations and care for chronic diseases provided to some low-income students."
"The Obama administration announced this week that 11.4 million people signed up for health coverage during the most recent enrollment period, making it ever harder for critics who love to hate the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to hate it. Despite its success, the threats against the ACA loom large, both in the form of the upcoming Supreme Court case challenging the subsidies that have made coverage affordable for so many Americans, and also in the recent healthcare proposal released by Senate Republicans. Both would be a significant step back for low-income families."