Health and Poverty News
"An estimated 850,000 uninsured Floridians would be newly eligible for coverage under the plan, though they would be required to work or to attend school, and to pay monthly premiums.
But House leaders and Gov. Rick Scott oppose any Medicaid expansion because they say they don’t trust the federal government to keep its promise to pay for covering more Floridians. Other states have overcome political opposition to Medicaid expansion and adopted plans to bring government-subsidized coverage to more of their low-income residents: 28 states and the District of Columbia, as of April. Expansion is under discussion in Missouri, Montana, Utah, Alaska and Tennessee."
"In the latest escalation of a complicated standoff between the federal government and the state, Gov. Rick Scott announced Thursday he will sue federal officials for tying funding for some hospitals and other health-care providers to Medicaid expansion."
"To catch you up, Florida had been in talks with the administration over expanding Medicaid to 800,000 or more Floridians. But Scott recently reversed his previous support for the expansion. Scott did this because the federal government is close to nixing some of the billions in Medicaid funding for another program — the Low-Income Pool, or LIP — which funnels money to hospitals for low-income patients. Scott says this shows the feds can’t be trusted to honor their commitment under the Medicaid expansion."
"The feud between Scott and the Senate blew out into the open last week, with Scott blaming senators for sabotaging his Medicaid negotiations with the federal government, and senators publicly scolding his agency heads. The main source of the disagreement is over Medicaid. Scott is negotiating with the federal government to extend the Low Income Pool, a $2.2 billion Medicaid program paid with county and federal funds for health care for low-income and uninsured patients."
"About 46 million Americans are living on SNAP. And there are 23.5 million Americans living in food deserts, 13.5 million of whom are low-income."
"A new grant program will make it easier for thousands of low income families to buy fruits and vegetables. The Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grant is expected to increase farmer revenue by $2.1 million dollars."
"Food pantries, where students in need can stock up on groceries and basic supplies, started cropping up on campuses in large numbers after the recession began in 2007. More than 200 U.S. colleges, mostly public institutions, now operate pantries, and more are on the way, even as the economy rebounds."
"When the earnings of low-income consumers change over the course of the year, a family can risk losing their health coverage if they shift between eligibility for Medicaid and eligibility for coverage on the health insurance exchanges that were set up under the Affordable Care Act."
"Atlanta city officials say they're planning to offer a federally-supported program to provide meals to low-income children during summer break from school."
"Thousands of low-income adults and children have gained access to dental services in recent years as the number of dentists accepting Medicaid and HUSKY patients has soared, according to state data."
"The University of Colorado Hospital is the largest and highest-ranked hospital in the state, an academic institution nationally renowned for its cancer and other specialty care. The complex on the Anschutz Medical Campus towers over Aurora's Montview Park, an area where the poverty rate is around 40 percent, roughly in line with the poverty rate in the Mississippi Delta. A persistent complaint has dogged the hospital in recent years. The thrust: low-income patients have trouble getting in the door."
"he only thing lawmakers are required to do is craft a budget for the fiscal year, which begins July 1. But the House and Senate have some big differences in their proposed budgets. The biggest difference is a $5-billion gap regarding healthcare costs. The Senate has a plan to continue receiving federal money to pay for healthcare for low-income people."
"On April 1st, Secretary Tom Vilsack of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the recipients of $31.5 million in grants from the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grant program. The FINI program was authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill."
"For uninsured families, the task of putting food on the table is often difficult enough without having to worry about medical care. 'Unfortunately, families with no insurance who are working hard to provide a roof over their head let vision and dental care take a back seat,' said Centre Volunteers in Medicine Executive Director Cheryl White. In a lot of cases, she said, the children in these families have never had the chance to see a vision or dental specialist."
"The Ecology Center in Berkeley and Mandela Marketplace in Oakland received grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to encourage low-income residents receiving federal food assistance to eat more fruits and vegetables."
"Latinos in Idaho experience barriers that make the process of enrolling in healthcare through the state's insurance exchange more challenging. That's according to a report released Thursday by a liberal advocacy group, the Idaho Community Action Network (ICAN)."
"Abdull's request that her state fund a health plan enabling access to these therapies was finally granted last week, and now the 1 million poor and disabled Minnesotans who receive aid through Medical Assistance have access to these treatments, according to the Star Tribune."
"The federal government has approved a new benefit for families dealing with autism in Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Human Services announced today that the state will provide 'early intensive intervention' for children and young adults on the autism spectrum who are on Medical Assistance."
"Federal health care officials are temporarily suspending negotiations with Florida over a $2.2 billion program that helps safety-net hospitals, the state Agency for Health Care Administration said Wednesday."
"The environment itself has been one of the biggest obstacles to healthy living. There are few parks for calisthenics. Crime poses a threat to early morning or late afternoon runs. And traditional gyms are virtually nonexistent. All these factors make it particularly challenging for residents to stay in shape, according to Gabriela Gonzalez, a project manager for health programs at Esperanza Community Housing Corporation."
"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."