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Saturday, June 15, 2024

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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Report: Millions disenrolled from CHIP nationwide

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Monday, May 6, 2024   

As pandemic-era protections were lifted a new report showed the number of children on Medicaid has varied widely between states, with Maryland doing better than most.

The Georgetown University report said nationwide, more than 4 million fewer children were enrolled in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program at the end of last year compared to spring 2023, before the expiration of continuous coverage. The report estimated in 70% of cases, children's coverage was canceled for procedural reasons such as difficulty navigating the state's website, reaching a person via a help line, or not receiving renewal notices.

Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families and the study's co-author, said states need to improve outreach to help avoid disenrollment because of red-tape reasons rather than being ineligible.

"Some states chose to go very slowly and carefully and redo their entire eligibility system so that it worked better," Alker acknowledged. "But other states really doubled down and they moved very quickly to disenroll children, even though many of them likely remain eligible."

In Maryland, the number of kids with coverage declined 3% or nearly 20,000.

The Maryland Children's Health Program offers free as well as low-cost health insurance coverage for children under 19, and income eligibility for children is much higher than for adults. The report noted new programs in some states are offering multiyear continuous coverage to young children.

"A significant number of states are making a shift in their policy to offer continuous coverage for young children," Alker pointed out. "In most cases, from birth to age 6, in a few cases to age 3 or 5. And this is a really terrific breakthrough."

Maryland is not among the 12 states to develop a multiyear coverage program but the District of Columbia has.

Disclosure: Georgetown University Center for Children and Families contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, and Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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