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    PNS Weekend Update - January 31, 20150 


    Among the stories on our weekend rundown; Arizona health officials trying to keep the lid on a measles outbreak ahead of Sunday’s big game; we’ll take a look at the Dark Side of the Super Bowl; plus we’ll tell you why California is mounting a campaign against e-cigarettes.

Welfare Reform

PHOTO: Florida's Gov. Rick Scott is one of a number of Republican governors who have refused to accept federal money to expand their states' Medicaid programs. Illustration credit: Sam Beddoes/Flickr Creative Commons.

MIAMI - The state of Florida finds itself in an enviable position. It's expecting a $1 billion surplus in the upcoming fiscal-year budget. Gov. Rick Scott's proposed budget includes increasing public-school spending - but it does not include expanding Florida's Medicaid program. Scott, who credits ...Read More

PHOTO: Fewer Oregon Health Plan members are seeing this sign. Emergency room visits by Medicaid recipients are down by 21 percent, according to a new state report. Photo credit: Chris Bradshaw/FeaturePics.com.
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PORTLAND, Ore. - Medicaid expansion in Oregon last year didn't mean a spike in costs or emergency-room use, according to a report released this week by the Oregon Health Authority. The state said Medicaid costs for inpatient hospital services have decreased about 5.5 percent since 2011, despite add ...Read More

PHOTO: An estimated 14,000 to 20,000 undocumented individuals in Kentucky could be helped by President Obama's recent executive action, according to the Maxwell Street Legal Clinic in Lexington. Photo credit: Flickr.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - A Lexington immigration attorney says President Obama's controversial plan to grant five million undocumented individuals temporary stays and work permits is a "temporary fix." Guion Johnstone serves as program director at the Maxwell Street Legal Clinic, which offers assistance to ...Read More

PHOTO: A new report finds that one in seven Kentuckians relied on a food bank in the past year to help them put food in their pantry. Photo by Greg Stotelmyer.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - How hungry is Kentucky? A new report from Feeding America finds that more than 3.5 million food distributions were made this year to more than 209,000 Kentucky households. That's one in every seven Kentuckians turning to a food bank for help. "We keep hearing that the Great Recessi ...Read More

Philadelphia Eagles mascot Swoop delivers healthy food to the Coalition Against Hunger. Credit: Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger

PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Eagles just wrapped up a month-long online food drive in which fans could purchase healthy foods of their choice that will stock two sites known as Green Light Pantries. Laura Wall, executive director of the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger, says ...Read More

PHOTO: LeAnna Watson obtained health insurance coverage through kynect, the state's health insurance marketplace, and is now helping others sign up. Photo courtesy of LeAnna Watson.

HARRODSBURG, Ky. - Cancer survivor LeAnna Watson shares her own story of having lived without health insurance as she now helps others enroll in Kentucky's health benefit exchange, known as "kynect." She's what's called a "kynector," one of nearly 1,500 people statewide who are trained helpers. As W ...Read More

PHOTO: A high percentage of people age 50 or older in Oregon don't apply for SNAP or food-stamp benefits even though they are eligible. For Hunger Action Month, AARP Oregon is calling attention to the need in this age group, particularly folks ages 50-59. Photo credit: Daniel Root for Oregon Food Bank.

PORTLAND, Ore. - Thousands of people in Oregon age 65 or older who qualify for the SNAP or food-stamp program don't sign up, according to a report from Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon. In all but five Oregon counties, the study found, fewer than half of the eligible seniors receive federal food a ...Read More

IMAGE: Several groups are asking Ohio's governor to reverse a decision to not extend a work requirement waiver for SNAP benefits to all counties. Graphic courtesy of USDA.

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio Gov. John Kasich is being asked to reverse course on a decision that has cost thousands of Ohioans federally-funded food aid. Because of the recession, from 2007 to 2013, Ohio requested a statewide federal waiver of work requirements for childless adults without a job in need o ...Read More

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Welfare Reform by State