State Sen. Ray Cleary, a South Carolina Republican, has proposed S.286
to create a free dental screening program for schoolchildren in at
least 3 of the state's poorest counties - where children are most
likely to go without regular dental care. Sen. Cleary, a dentist
to combat the adverse effects that poor dental health has on a child's
education, including the inability to focus while in school because of
pain and missed school days. According to the Pew Center on the States,
tooth decay is the most common childhood disease, affecting 60% of all
children and causing kids across the country to miss 51 million hours
of school time each year.
This week, the Washington State Senate's health committee approved a
bill to achieve health-care-for-all by 2012. Sponsored by committee
Chair Sen. Karen Keiser, SB 5945 as amended
combines immediate steps to expand access to coverage and cut
administrative costs with a planning process to refine proposals for
comprehensive reform by 2012. This action came as the Seattle City Council and Seattle Post-Intelligencerendorsed national single-payer health care, emphasizing the continuing efforts in states to move forward health care reform.
Concord - Rep. Jill Shaffer Hammond (D-Hills. Dist. 3) today
introduced an innovative bill that would allow small businesses,
non-profits, and their employees to purchase health insurance through
the state employee health plan. HB617 would help tens of thousands of
New Hampshire residents and small employers by increasing their options
in the insurance market. The bill could reduce health insurance costs
for business owners and employees who take advantage of the option to
join the state employee plan.
In New York State, 31% of uninsured residents are young adults between
the ages 19 and 29. To help this population and reduce the state's
uninsured rolls, Governor Paterson wants to require private employers
to offer health insurance to workers' dependents who are between the ages 19 and 29.
According to The Wall Street Journal, "Fed and Treasury
officials have identified the disease. It's called de-leveraging, or
the unwinding of debt. During the credit boom, financial institutions
and American households took on too much debt." But let's not buy into a false equivalence of "financial
institutions" and those "American households" borrowing beyond their
US athletes are now showing their mettle, competing against the world
in the Beijing Summer Olympics. Since the modern summer Olympics began
in 1896, the US has been a force; consistently fielding a dominant
cadre of athletes and ranking first, or among the top, in the overall medal count.
In the spirit of competition and international comparison, this
Stateside Dispatch will look at how well our health care system stacks
up against our peers in the international community.
Since 2003, at least three states - Maine,
Vermont, and Massachusetts
- and the city of San Francisco
have enacted legislation with the express goal of ensuring all residents have
access to health care coverage. All of these initiatives, particularly those in Maine and Vermont,
pursue a comprehensive approach to reform - addressing cost, quality, and
access. These efforts have spurred action in other states, where lawmakers in Colorado, Washington, New York, Wisconsin, and elsewhere learn from and build on the experience of early leaders. This section discusses priorities for comprehensive reform, the road to reform, and model initiatives in key states, specifically Wisconsin.
One year after implementation, Massachusetts new health care law has
dramatically reduced its rate of the uninsured by half, increasing
coverage in both the public and private sectors for 355,000 previously
uninsured residents, a new Urban Institute study published in Health Affairs shows. The state has improved access to coverage but rising costs are a key challenge as the state moves forward.