Make Your Voice Heard on Health Care at the Governor’s Town Hall

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Governor Hickenlooper and Lieutenant Governor Lynne are holding a town hall on health care, and you are invited to add your voice to the bipartisan effort to help improve our state’s health care system.

Date and Time: August 16th from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Location: Aurora Municipal Center, 15151 E. Alameda Parkway, Aurora, CO 80012

Click here for more details on the event.

Posted in Child Health, KidsFlash, Outreach |


Join us on 8/15 for a #SaludTues tweetchat on early childhood development!

We’ll be cohosting a Twitter chat on Tuesday, August 15, at 11:00 a.m. about early childhood development and Latino children together with Salud America, Nacer Sano Baby, 1,000 Days and Child Trends. Early care providers and early childhood development programs have the power to connect families to services and resources to improve school readiness and promote healthy development and well-being. During the Twitter chat we’d love to hear your experiences and stories as we explore:

  • Why the early years are so important.
  • The barriers Latino families face in receiving the care and services they need.
  • How we can elevate the conversation around early childhood development.

Use and search for #SaludTues  on Twitter on August 15 at 11 a.m. to follow the conversation and share strategies, stories and resources to ensure that Latino kids—and all kids—get off to a healthy early start.

  • WHAT: #SaludTues Tweetchat: “Elevate Early Childhood Development”
  • TIME/DATE: 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. MST on Tuesday, August 15, 2017
  • WHERE: On Twitter with hashtag #SaludTues
  • HOST: @SaludAmerica
  • CO-HOSTS: Child Trends (@ChildTrends); Nacersano baby (@nacersanobaby); 1,000 Days (@1000Days); and Children’s Campaign (@ColoradoKidsOrg)
  • OPTIONAL HASHTAGS: #ececo #earlyed #elevatingequity #SpeakUpCO #2gen

#SaludTues is a weekly Tweetchat about Latino health at 12p CST/1p ET every Tuesday and hosted by @SaludAmerica, the Latino health social media campaign for the team at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The University of Texas Health, San Antonio. A tweetchat is a live Twitter event or conversation, usually moderated by cohosts and focused around a general topic. They can be great ways to share information with partners and advocates and to boost the visibility of your organization.

Posted in Early Childhood, KidsFlash, Outreach |


Sundari Kraft Honored with the 2017 Dr. Virgilio Licona Community Health Leadership Award

Sundari_Award

Last week, the Colorado Health Foundation honored Sundari Kraft with the 2017 Dr. Virgilio Licona Community Health Leadership Award at the Colorado Health Symposium. This annual award program recognizes Coloradans who are finding innovative and effective strategies to overcome barriers to community health across the state.

A grassroots organizer and activist, Sundari is mobilizing fellow Coloradans to engage in informed conversations with policymakers about health. As the founder of Sustainable Food Denver and the co-chair of the Denver Sustainable Food Policy Council, Kraft successfully led a grassroots movement to pass local policies that make healthy food more accessible and affordable. She has also played a critical role in efforts around childhood vaccination in Colorado. Click through to the press release and read more about Sundari.

Posted in KidsFlash, Outreach |


Fast Fact- August 10, 2017

In 2015, Colorado’s median family income among households with children was $76,600. Since 2010, Colorado’s median family income for households with kids has risen every year, increasing by nearly $13,000 during that time. To find out how Colorado compares to other states, please visit the KIDS COUNT Data Center.

 

Posted in Fast Facts, KidsFlash |


Reflection on the Colorado Health Symposium 2017

This week, four lucky staffers attended the Colorado Health Symposium in Keystone, Colorado. The theme of the Symposium, “Let’s Talk About…Inequality,” highlighted many of the issues the Campaign has been learning about as we work to integrate a racial equity focus in our work. Speakers emphasized the need for health policy work to be informed by those most impacted by inequities and why a racial equity focus is necessary given the history of our country. The Symposium ended with a powerful performance of “A Right to Care” by Sarah Jones.

Video recordings of the Colorado Health Symposium are available on The Colorado Health Foundation’s YouTube channel and tweets from the event can be found using #17CHS.

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Posted in KidsFlash, Outreach |


Parent Workshop: Creating Healthy Schools

Action for Healthy Kids, LiveWell Colorado, Colorado PTA and Wellness Training Specialists are excited to announce a parent workshop are hosting together in three different locations in southwest Colorado in September: “Creating Healthy Schools: What Parents Need to Know | How to Help Students Eat Better and Move More.” All interested parents and caregivers are invited to attend the workshop at no cost. A complimentary networking luncheon is included. Interpretation into Spanish will be available.

Dates and locations – all workshops are 9:00 am-3:00 pm:

September 19, 2017 – Ridgway – Ouray County Fairgrounds 4H Event Center

September 20, 2017 – Durango – Durango Public Library

September 21, 2017 – Cortez – Cortez Recreation Center

You can register at: ActionforHealthyKids.org/SW-Colorado-Workshops

Posted in KidsFlash, Outreach |


Fast Fact- August 04, 2017

In 2016, 44 percent of all Colorado fourth grade students met or exceeded grade-level expectations on the English Language Arts portion of the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS). Fourth grade marks the point where students shift from learning how to read to employing those reading skills to grasp other subjects. When children are not reading at grade level by fourth grade, their ability to succeed in other subjects is often jeopardized. East Grand School District had the highest fourth grade reading scores, with 76 percent of fourth grade students scoring proficient or above, while Burlington School District had the lowest scores, with only 12 percent of fourth-graders reading proficiently. To find data for your district, please visit the KIDS COUNT Data Center.

Posted in Fast Facts, KidsFlash |


Federal Health Update

A modified repeal of the Affordable Care Act failed to pass out of the U.S. Senate just before midnight mountain time last night. Republican Sens. Susan Collins, John McCain and Lisa Murkowski joined all of the Democratic senators in opposing the bill. Our Colorado senators were split on the bill, with Sen. Michael Bennet voting against the bill and Sen. Cory Gardner voting in favor of the bill, which would have resulted in 16 million Americans losing their health insurance coverage and impacted tens of thousands of kids in Colorado. (We provided some background on how we got to this point in our post yesterday.) The failure of this bill is a testament to everyone who attended rallies and called their senators and made their voices heard speaking up for Colorado kids. Click here to read more about what the “skinny” repeal bill would have done, what it would have meant for Colorado kids, and what’s next for health reform and children’s health care at the federal level.

What would the bill have done?

The final version of the bill would have:

  • eliminated the tax penalty on individuals who do not have health insurance (also known as the individual mandate),
  • paused the tax penalty on employers who do not offer affordable coverage (also known as the employer mandate),
  • paused the tax on medical devices,
  • eliminated the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which provides expanded investments in prevention and public health to improve health outcomes and to enhance health care quality,
  • increased the maximum contributions to Health Savings Accounts for two years,
  • provided funding for states to seek waivers under the Affordable Care Act and changed the approval process for those waivers,
  • increased the amount of funding for Community Health Centers, and,
  • prohibited federal funds from being sent to certain entities that provide abortions for one year (even though, under current rules, federal funding cannot be used for abortions except in limited cases).

How would this bill have affected Colorado kids?

Nationwide, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projected that about 16 million people would have lost their health insurance coverage over the next 10 years, with most of that loss (15 million) occurring next year. It’s likely that tens of thousands of Colorado kids would have been included in that total. That coverage loss would have been caused by:

  • Increased premiums in the individual market and health insurance exchange due to the removal of the individual mandate. It was projected that premiums would have increased by roughly 20 percent. This would have made it harder for some Colorado families, especially those in high-cost rural areas, to afford health insurance coverage.
  • Repealing the requirement to carry health insurance coverage would also have created a reverse welcome-mat effect, or “unwelcome-mat” effect. This effect means that because people would not have been required to have health insurance, families would not have sought out the coverage options that have led them to learn that their children were already eligible for coverage programs such as Medicaid and CHIP.
  • Repealing the employer mandate would have meant that some employers would have stopped offering health coverage to their employees and employees’ families.

So, what’s next?

It’s possible that Republican leaders in Washington, D.C. will continue to fight for some of these harmful changes to the Affordable Care Act in budget negotiations or through tax reform in the coming months. Alternatively, lawmakers could work together in a bipartisan way to improve the Affordable Care Act. If lawmakers decide to work together, they could make a number of fixes to the law. They could establish a new reinsurance program at the federal level that would help insurance companies pay for care for the sickest enrollees and help keep everyone’s premiums down. They could also fix the “family glitch” in which some middle-income families face high health insurance costs but are not eligible for tax credits to make the insurance more affordable.

Under current law, the Trump administration also has the ability to either shore up the markets, or as they have indicated they are likely to do, make small changes that will continue to destabilize the individual insurance market. The changes that the Trump administration has made so far include creating additional public uncertainty about whether they will provide cost-sharing reduction payments to insurance companies, which allow those companies to keep premiums low, especially for individuals facing the most barriers to good health. They have also indicated that they will reduce marketing efforts to encourage Americans to sign up for insurance through the federal Marketplace and shorten the open enrollment period for signing up for coverage through the federal Marketplace. Since Colorado has our own, state-based Marketplace, we are able to continue our own efforts to market coverage available through our exchange and able to maintain a longer open enrollment period.

Posted in Child Health, KidsFlash, Legislative |


CHIP on the horizon

There is one big health care fight coming up for kids in Colorado— advocating for continued federal financing of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, through which Colorado’s CHP+ program operates. Federal financing for the program expires at the end of September, and it is critical for the roughly 90,000 Colorado kids and pregnant women who use CHP+ for their health insurance each year that financing for the program continue. We are urging our federal delegation to support funding for CHIP through September 2019 to align with policy authorization for the program, and to support our state budget by ensuring states continue to receive enhanced federal payments through the program. Medicaid and CHP+ have been the 1-2 punch in Colorado that have helped us achieve historically high rates of health insurance for kids in our state, helping more kids then ever get off to a healthy start. Check back here for more details on efforts to extend CHIP financing over the next several weeks.

Posted in Child Health, KidsFlash |


Join us to learn where the “change” happens in public policy—state and federal budgets

speakuptraningJoin Speak Up for Kids partners Clayton Early Learning and Colorado Children’s Campaign on Thurs. Aug. 31st, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. to gain the skills and information you need to navigate the state and federal budget process and speak up effectively for early childhood development and child health. This complimentary training includes child care and dinner thanks to generous support from the Early Childhood Colorado Partnership. Register at: bit.ly/wherechangehappens.

When: Thursday August 31, 6:00-7:30 p.m. Dinner begins at 5:30 p.m.

Where: Clayton Early Learning, 3801 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Denver, CO 80205

What: Speak Up for Kids training on state and federal budgets

Why: State and federal spending decisions demonstrate what we value as a society and community. Together we can ensure that programs supporting children and families get the investments they need.

Posted in KidsFlash, Outreach |


 

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