Friday, September 30, 2022

Play

Florida begins a long effort to recover from Ian, an Arkansas school works to attract more students to higher education, and Massachusetts Narcan trainers enlist the public's help to prevent overdose deaths.

Play

Hurricane Ian leaves severe flooding and millions without power in Florida, the Senate passed a spending bill to keep the government running to December, and senators aim for greater oversight of federal prisons.

Play

Baseball is America's pastime, and more international players are taking the stage, rural communities can get help applying for federal funds through the CHIPS and Science Act, and a Texas university is helping more Black and Latina women pursue careers in agriculture.

Report: Virginia Must Improve Child Health Coverage for Latino Families

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
The number of absentee ballots requested by Michigan voters increased by 73% between the 2018 and 2020 elections, according to the Michigan Secretary of State. (JimCanally/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Voting advocates say more and more Michiganders are choosing to cast absentee ballots to save time and avoid long lines on Election Day. In 2020…


Social Issues

With the election a little over a month away, some say caregiving and long-term care are issues too big for candidates in Oregon to ignore. There …

Health and Wellness

COVID upended many routines, including Texas parents getting kids in for regularly scheduled childhood vaccines. Data from the Texas Department of …


About 75% of the nation's flowering plants and more than 30% of the nation's food crops rely upon animal pollinators to reproduce, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (Lamar Gore/John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge)

Environment

Pennsylvania has a strong commitment to urban agriculture and community gardening, and some groups in the state are working to get more colorful …

Environment

Georgia Power is reducing its reliance on coal by phasing out several coal-fired units. However, clean-energy advocates say the company should …

The State of Black Students at Community College report says 70% of African American college students experienced food and housing insecurity or homelessness during the pandemic. (Gorodenkoff/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A new report on Black students in the community college system found fewer are signing up to attend two-year schools, and the college enrollment …

Environment

Greenhouse gas emissions have been potentially reduced by 50,000 tons in the state, with the help of Wisconsin farmers supported by a statewide …

Social Issues

Social Security benefits again could see their highest increase in several decades, but those advocating for beneficiaries say there is still plenty …

 

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