Child Health Insurance
This week the Senate was to consider the reconciliation spending package as part of the budget agreement reached between the President and Congress. On Thursday June 19 the Senate Finance committee reported its children’s health provision which calls for spending $24 billion ($16 billion which was included in the budget agreement and an additional $8 billion which the committee allocated from $16 billion it generated from a 20 cent increase in the tobacco tax) over 5 years for uninsured children.
The Finance Committee rejected an amendment offered by Senators Chafee (R- RI) and Rockefeller (D-WV) which would have spent a substantial portion of the money on Medicaid incentives for states to cover more uninsured children by raising eligibility levels. The Committee also blocked an attempt to attach the Hatch-Kennedy CHILD Act to the budget bill. Instead the Committee passed provisions which give states a choice between Medicaid and a block grant to provide insurance for children. States are most likely to choose the block grant option. In order to ensure that this money provides real coverage for uninsured children we need your help in improving the Child Health Block Grant in three very important ways: Please contact your U.S. Senators today. Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202/224-3121. Ask your Senators to help insure all 10 million uninsured children in America and to improve the Child Health Block Grant by including these critical components: (a) the benefit package must be comprehensive and geared to the needs of children (b) cost-sharing protections must be included and (c) current Medicaid eligibility standards must be maintained.
This Update provided by CDF
Children’s Tax Credit
The House Ways and Means Committee approved a tax cut plan last week that leaves out 28 million children (40 percent of all U.S. children.) Virtually all children in families earning less than $20 000 a year would receive no benefit at all from the children's tax credit in the plan and many in families earning up to $30 000 would receive little or none of the $500 credit because they also qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Care Credit. The Senate Finance Committee has made a modest improvement but still denies some or all of the credit to millions of families with children that are paying payroll and/or income taxes. The House is now likely to improve the bill for families with child care costs but still leaves out millions of low income working families.
The tax cuts coming to the House and Senate floors do help the wealthy —the cuts in the capital gains tax will overwhelmingly help the top 5 percent of taxpayers with incomes over $100K who have 75 percent of all capital gains income. These tax breaks are the gifts that keep on giving. While costing $85 billion in the first five years by 2017 the revenue loss explodes—to $650 - $750 billion.
Tell your Representative and Senators to make the children's tax credit cover low income working families with child care costs who pay payroll and/or income taxes and to vote against any tax breaks calculated to blow a gaping hole in the budget for decades to come.
This Update provided by CDF.
The biggest overhaul of juvenile justice legislation since the 1970s is moving rapidly through Congress: (1) H.R. 3 already passed the House and would provide $500 million a year to states to punish children including trying them in adult courts and not a penny for prevention. (2) H.R. 1818 has been reported out of committee for a floor vote and would weaken the mandates of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act that protect children from unjust incarceration (e.g. for running away or skipping school) and incarceration with adults. (3) S.10 is scheduled to be marked-up this week in Senate Judiciary Committee and would also weaken the protections of children from adult jails and prisons and would provide inadequate unspecified investments in prevention.
All three bills are silent on children's access to guns even though gun crime is the only type of juvenile crime that has risen in the past decade. Ultimately these three bills will likely be combined into one comprehensive youth violence bill. Call your Senators (U.S. Capitol Switchboard #202/224-3121) this week and tell them:(1) Don't try children as adults --children come out of the adult system more likely to commit crime again. (2)Don't house children with adults -- children in adult facilities are much more likely to be physically and sexually assaulted and to attempt suicide. (3) Invest at least as much on prevention as on corrections -- each new juvenile detention bed costs $102 000 compared to the modest cost of after-school centers and mentors that prevent crime before it occurs. (4) Reduce children's access to guns -- these bills should support gun tracing initiatives to identify those who illegally provide guns to children and child-safety locks to prevent child gun deaths in the home.
This Update provided by CDF.
In seeking her replacement, we are looking for an applicant with at least a Bachelor’s degree, office experience, and strong organization, writing, and communication skills. The successful applicant will also have significant computer and internet knowledge, and be knowledgeable about health systems and issues, and parent and family issues. For further information regarding this position, contact Patricia Smith at 703-684-6763.
To express interest in this position, forward a letter of interest and a resume to: NPND; 1727 King Street, Suite 305; Alexandria, VA 22314; Or Fax to: NPND—703-836-1232
For more information, contact Jonathan Stein of Community Legal Services at 215-981-3742.
This information from an ABA press release.
This information is from a Department of Justice press release.