skip to main content

Friday, June 9, 2023

play newscast audioPlay

Former President Donald J. Trump first ever to face federal charges in 7 count indictment; the Supreme Court strikes down Alabama's Congressional Maps; Canadian wildfires affect the health of humans and wildlife.

play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court upholds a key provision of the Voting Rights Act over Alabama redistricting, smoky skies could spell EPA trouble for some states, and President Biden calls on Congress to pass LGBTQ+ protections.

play newscast audioPlay

Rural communities launch projects with funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, a study says rural transgender adults feel less supported than those in urban areas, and a summer road trip could mean majestic scenic byways or a sprinkling of donut shops.

Report: Virginia Must Improve Child Health Coverage for Latino Families

play audio
Play

Wednesday, June 23, 2021   

RICHMOND, Va. -- Children in Virginia are better off than in most states, but a new report said the Commonwealth needs to improve health outcomes, especially for children of color.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation Kids Count Data Book shows in 2019, more Virginia children had health insurance than the year before. But in March 2021, the uninsured rate for Latino families with children was 16%, double the number for Virginia families overall.

Lauren Snellings, research director at Voices for Virginia's Children, said undocumented immigrants have struggled to get health care, but the state is working to improve that.

"One positive step is the creation of a workgroup by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and that actually has started recently," Snellings reported. "And it's to consider policy and funding recommendations to cover all children, regardless of immigration status."

Virginia moved up a notch, to 13th out of 50 states in the report, in four overall measures of how families are faring. The report also includes the U.S. Census Household Pulse Survey data from 2020 to assess the impacts of the pandemic.

Snellings pointed out Virginia made significant strides with Medicaid expansion and increasing health-care access to thousands of families. But efforts to lift kids out of poverty stagnated in 2019.

She emphasized it could change, since Congress voted to boost the Child Tax Credit.

"These enhancements that they made recently, like making it refundable or even increasing the credit amount to $3,600 for kids under six, and being paid directly is great," Snellings contended. "But really, to make sustainable change in childhood poverty, this has to be a permanent solution."

Leslie Boissiere, vice president of external affairs for the Foundation, agreed permanently expanding the Child Tax Credit would reduce long-standing disparities that affect millions of families of color. She noted the impact of poverty on children can last decades.

"We know that children who grow up in poverty have lower health outcomes," Boissiere explained. "They live in substandard housing that has issues like mold and lead that go untreated. Lower-income families live in poorer neighborhoods that have poorer-resourced schools, so their education outcomes tend to be worse."

The report said Virginia children saw gains in overall economic well-being in 2019, but in terms of health, the number of kids who are obese grew by four percentage points.

Disclosure: Annie E. Casey Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Education, Juvenile Justice, and Welfare Reform. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Guns to Gardens volunteers in New Hampshire are working against what are considered among the weakest gun laws in the country. State law does not require background checks on all gun sales, or limit access to firearms by people in crisis. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Community volunteers in New Hampshire are turning unwanted firearms into garden tools as part of a nationwide effort to reduce gun violence. Under …


Social Issues

play sound

Parents and educators in the Houston Independent School District said they are all for improving schools but do not believe a state takeover by an une…

Social Issues

play sound

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower-court ruling on a 5-to-4 vote Thursday, deciding Alabama's 2022 congressional maps violated the Voting Rights …


Alaska has more than 322 million acres of public lands, more than three times the acreage of the entire state of California. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

The Bureau of Land Management has announced a $161 million investment in habitat and wildland restoration projects in 11 western states. Alaska is …

Environment

play sound

As smoke from Canadian wildfires blankets New York and much of the East Coast, it's causing a wide range of health effects - and not just for people…

Connexus Energy operates a 'solar meadow' at its headquarters in Ramsey, Minn. (Photo courtesy of Fresh Energy)

Environment

play sound

By Elizabeth Hewitt for Reasons to be Cheerful.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Net…

Social Issues

play sound

To fight such pressing issues as housing shortages and increasing crime rates in cities across the country, many of the nation's mayors are taking …

Health and Wellness

play sound

As part of Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month, mental-health advocates in Iowa are sharing information about Alzheimer's and say two new drugs …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021