Tuesday, July 5, 2022


A new Supreme Court case will focus on state legislative control of federal elections, community health centers seek protection against Big Pharma, and Oregon's estuary management plan gets an update.


A shooting near Chicago leaves six dead and dozens injured, Democratic governors huddle to ensure abortion access, and officials say the "Remain in Mexico" immigration policy will be phased out in the coming weeks.


From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

Advocates Press CA Lawmakers to Better Fund Kids' Hearing-Aid Program


Tuesday, May 17, 2022   

Groups fighting for children's rights say they are disappointed Gov. Gavin Newsom's May budget revision did not include more money for the Hearing Aid Coverage for Children Program. Newsom proposed about $16 million, but advocates want lawmakers to bump it up another $5 million in the final budget.

Mike Odeh, senior director of health for the nonprofit Children Now, said hearing loss in babies and toddlers causes serious delays in speech and learning.

"It's a developmental issue, and it's not appropriate for kids to be sent to school without the appropriate supports like hearing aids," Odeh contended.

At a legislative hearing in 2019, experts testified only 1 in 10 children in California has hearing-aid coverage through a private health plan, and every month of delay in starting hearing aids correlates with decreased long-term language potential.

The state Department of Health Care Services estimates 7,000 low-income children in California need hearing aids, but only about 68 children are actually enrolled.

Odeh pointed out it is because the program only covers people who have no other insurance options.

"Some kids are getting rejected because they don't meet the income criteria," Odeh noted. "And so they would likely be eligible for MediCal, some are getting rejected because they have partial coverage that maybe provides a $500 benefit of coverage for hearing aids. But hearing aids are about $6,000 for kids and need to be replaced every three years."

Advocates argued with more money, the program could be expanded to help families who struggle with high copays and deductibles.

Disclosure: Children Now/KIDS COUNT contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, and Youth Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
Coal-fired energy generation accounts for as much as 80% of air pollutants in some parts of the country. (lilifest/Adobe Stock)


Groups working to curb climate change said a Supreme Court ruling limiting the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to control carbon …


Government labels on meat products that say "humane" or "raised in a stress-free environment" are meaningless, according to some animal-rights groups…

Social Issues

A new report found when high school students enroll in early college programs, it improves the chances they will go on to college after graduation…

From 2006 to 2015, more than 17,000 Pennsylvanians filed flood claims with FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program, for more than $550 million in damages. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

As hurricane season kicks into full gear, Pennsylvania officials are reflecting on the impacts of Hurricane Agnes 50 years ago, and urging property …

Health and Wellness

Texas is home to one in 10 Americans of reproductive age, and mandated births due to the state's abortion ban will increase the number of maternal …

The 340B Drug Pricing Program is an outpatient drug program. (HeungSoon/Pixabay)

Social Issues

Community health centers are calling on state and federal lawmakers for added protections against drug manufactures for drastically cutting them out o…


The futures of tourism, wildlife and ranching in Mono County are now at the mercy of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power - according to …

Social Issues

Coming off a string of controversial opinions, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments in a case tied to oversight of federal elections…


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