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PSN on October 18, 2007 - 9:11am
With the vote on SCHIP today, there's a flurry of new reports and polls.
The Kaiser Family Roundation and Harvard's School of Public Health found in a poll of 1527 adults that 70% of the public supports an expansion of SCHIP, with even more Republicans supporting the expansion than opposing it. Two-thirds of the public oppose having the federal government limit eligibility for the program.
Voices for Illinois Children examines family coverage in that state, which has taken such strong leadership on health coverage for children and their parents. Illinois is one of eleven states that received a waiver to cover parents of children on SCHIP and has successfully used the program to extend coverage to 290,000 low-income parents, a program that would be ended if the Bush administration gets its way and eliminates all SCHIP coverage for parents.
The Urban Institute finds that out-of-pocket expenses for health care amount to 4%-5% of income for Medicaid and SCHIP recipients, while families on employer-provided health plans are as high as 12.9% for families below 150% of the federal poverty level.
Good news sometimes gets lost by the media. The Economic Policy Institute highlights the fact that since 1990, black children have seen their math scores increase from 188 to 222 on the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests, closing much of the gap with white children, who increased their scores as well but not as by as much. In fact, black children in 2007 scored as well as white children had back in 1990.
A survey conducted on behalf of the AFL-CIO finds that nearly half of homeowners with adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) don't know how their ARMs adjust or reset, or how much their monthly payments will increase when they do. 41% of homeowners whose ARMs have reset say they are worried about making the new higher payments over the next few years. In response to the poll, the AFL-CIO has launched a "Save My Home Hotline" to provide information to union members to help them avoid foreclosure. 77% of those polled say government should do more to regulate the mortgage industry.
A new report by MapLight.org, California Healthcare - Dollars and Politics, finds that on five of seven key health care bills, California legislators' votes correlated directly with the source of their campaign contributions. For examples, on a key bill requiring health insurers to seek regulatory approval before selling new plans, the industry gave an average of $13,951 to state Senators voting no and only $478 to Senators voting yes.
The National Women's Law Center just released an update of its comprehensive report on women's health in the fifty states - Making the Grade on Women's Health: A National and State-by-State Report Card. The report ranks each state on 27 health status indicators, such as receiving regular mammograms, and finds that "states are failing to meet minimum standards when it comes to women's health." According to the report, the best state for women's health is Vermont and the worst state is Mississippi.