Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Play

Minority-owned Southern businesses get back on their feet post-pandemic with a fund's help; President Biden says don't panic over the new COVID variant; and eye doctors gauge the risk of dying from COVID.

Play

U.S. Senate is back in session with a long holiday to-do list that includes avoiding a government shutdown; negotiations to revive the Iran Nuclear Deal resume; and Jack Dorsey resigns as CEO of Twitter.

Play

South Dakota foster kids find homes with Native families; a conservative group wants oil and gas reform; rural Pennsylvania residents object to planes flying above tree tops; and poetry debuts to celebrate the land.

Discouraging Trends for MT Children Leading into Pandemic, Data Shows

Play

Monday, June 21, 2021   

HELENA, Mont. -- Troubling trends in Montana may have made the pandemic harder for children, a new report shows.

The latest Annie E. Casey's KIDS COUNT report ranks states based on 2019 data in four categories: economic wellbeing, education, health, and family and community. Montana ranks 22nd overall.

Xanna Burg, KIDS COUNT coordinator at the Montana Budget and Policy Center, said families have been struggling to afford housing, which became harder during the pandemic.

Burg added another concerning trend is the recent rise in Montana children without health insurance, up to about 15,000 in 2019.

"That was before the pandemic, and it's concerning because so many families, their health insurance is tied to their employment," Burg explained. "And so we're concerned that this number may have increased as a result of some of the job loss that we saw in the last year."

Burg argued Montana should support Medicaid and improve outreach in order to enroll more children in the program.

Leslie Boissiere, vice president of external affairs for the Foundation, said Congress passed pandemic relief quickly, including an expansion of the Child Tax Credit within the American Rescue Plan Act.

She explained the policy is expected to pull as many as half of the children living in poverty out of it, but noted it's only temporary.

"We are excited and grateful that lawmakers passed the expansion," Boissiere stated. "And we're calling on them to make that expansion permanent. We'd like to ensure that we don't have the largest ever, one year reduction in the number of children who live in poverty followed immediately by the largest ever one-year increase."

Burg noted Native American children in Montana face greater hardships than their white counterparts, including higher rates of poverty. She emphasized policymakers should look at the pandemic recovery as a chance to reimagine how we support children and families, instead of returning to the way it was before COVID-19.

"So when making decisions and creating supports for families, how can we think about specifically supporting Native children and other children of color in our state so that we don't see these disparities continue in the data?" Burg asked.

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 2021 Nevada Children's Health Report from the Children's Advocacy Alliance found that only 56 percent of uninsured kids receive regular medical attention. (Rawpixel/Adobestock)

Social Issues

The proposed Western Riverside County Wildlife Refuge is key habitat to the federally endangered Quino checkerspot butterfly. (Eric Porter/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Environment

HEMET, Calif. -- Public-lands groups are asking Congress to support the proposed Western Riverside County Wildlife Refuge, a 500,000-acre swath …


Social Issues

PRINCETON, Minn. -- President Joe Biden is expected to visit Minnesota today to tout passage of the new federal infrastructure bill. Those working …

Health and Wellness

AUGUSTA, Maine -- Advocates for access to mental-health services are holding a Behavioral Health Summit today at the Augusta Civic Center. They are …


Experts say eye exams do more than just help patients find the right prescription for glasses. (Dario Lo Presti/Adobestock)

Health and Wellness

CARSON CITY, Nev. -- Eye exams can help determine your risk of dying from COVID, according to experts, because optometrists are often the first …

Health and Wellness

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- In a few weeks, Kentucky lawmakers will convene the General Assembly, and health advocates are calling for new policies to address …

Conservationists say the Recovering America's Wildlife Act could support improvements to water quality in the Ozarks, including the Buffalo National River. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

ST. JOE, Ark. -- More than a decade of restoration efforts in a section of Northern Arkansas' Ozark National Forest have led to 40 new species of …

Social Issues

SANTA FE, N.M. -- The New Mexico Legislature will consider three possible redistricting maps for the House and Senate when it meets for a special …

Social Issues

HOUSTON, Texas -- Minority-owned businesses across the South are benefitting from a program designed to help them get back on their feet post-…

 

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