Call Congress and tell them to save kids’ health care!

chipAs Congress continues its long debate on the Affordable Care Act, there is one thing they could and should do right now to ensure health coverage for kids and pregnant women. We’ve heard a lot about a bipartisan bill to save the popular and successful Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which has allowed 8.9 million kids nationally to access quality affordable health care. We have even seen draft legislation. But words on paper don’t fund a program. Action by lawmakers funds programs. And we need that action by Sept. 30 to avoid catastrophic coverage losses.

In Colorado, about 90,000 kids and pregnant women use CHIP to access quality, affordable health care. I urge you to take a few minutes and call your U.S. Senators and Representatives to register your stand for kids and pregnant women. Tell them to stop wasting time on partisan efforts to repeal health insurance coverage for millions of Americans and to instead focus on the bipartisan Senate plan to extend CHIP. Your call can make a difference today.

Additional talking points for you to use when contacting your Senators and Representatives:

  • Congress should stop wasting efforts on partisan efforts to repeal health insurance for millions of Americans like the proposal from Senators Cassidy and Graham and instead focus on the bipartisan Senate plan to extend CHIP.
  • Cassidy-Graham is derailing efforts to secure the future of the CHIP program, which is critical for Colorado kids.
  • We need Congress to cross the finish line by Sept. 30.
  • Extending funding for CHIP for five years will help ensure stable coverage for working families and greater budget certainty for states.
  • Maintaining funding for the CHIP program is crucial to protecting Colorado’s budget.
  • 90,000 children and pregnant women from working families in Colorado use CHIP for their health insurance every year.
  • Children with chronic conditions deserve certainty in their medical coverage. And pregnant women should not be forced to scramble for a new doctor mid-pregnancy. Ending a successful program, with little warning, denies children the healthy start they need.
  • Kids with health coverage are less likely to drop out of high school, more likely to graduate from college, and have higher incomes as adults.

Contact Information for Colorado’s U. S. Senators

Senator Michael Bennett

Local office (303) 455-7600 National office (202) 224-5852

Senator Cory Gardner

Local office (303) 391-5777 National office (202) 224-5941

 

Contact Information for Colorado’s U.S. Representatives

Representative Coffman

Call if you live in Aurora, Centennial, Highlands Ranch, Brighton

Local office (720) 748-7514 National office (202) 225-7882

Representative Tipton

Call if you live in Grand Junction, Durango, Pueblo, Gunnison

Local office (970) 259-1490 National office (202) 225-4761

Representative Buck

Call if you live in Greeley, Fort Collins, Longmont, Brush, Burlington, Fort Morgan, Stratton, Julesburg, Holyoke

Local office (970) 702-2136 National office (202) 225-4676

Representative Lamborn

Call if you live in Salida, Buena Vista, Colorado Springs, Monument, Fountain, Canyon City, Woodland Park

Local office (719) 520-0055 National office (202) 225-4422

Representative Polis

Call if you live in Lafayette, Niwot, Boulder, Fort Collins, Lyons, Loveland, Granby, Breckenridge, Silverthorne, Kremmling

Local office (303) 484-9596 National office (202) 225-2161

Representative Perlmutter

Call if you live in Lakewood, Arvada, Westminster, Thornton, Northglenn

Local office (303)274-7944 National office (202) 225-2645

Representative DeGette

Call if you live in Denver

Local (303) 844-4988 (202) 225-4431

Posted in Child Health, KidsFlash, Legislative, Outreach |


September’s DataPalooza continues; new Colorado Health Access Survey results shed light on health coverage and care

Data on kids’ health coverage continues to roll in this month. Results from the 2017 Colorado Health Access Survey released this week show that Colorado has maintained its historic gains in kids’ health coverage through early 2017, confirming a trend observed in last week’s 2016 American Community Survey estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. The 2017 CHAS, a survey fielded and analyzed by the Colorado Health Institute and funded by The Colorado Trust, found that 3 percent of Colorado kids under age 18 lacked health coverage in early 2017, which is not a statistically significant change from the last time the survey was administered in 2015. The survey found that the uninsured rate for Coloradans of all ages remained at a historic low of 6.5 percent.

In addition to data on health coverage, the CHAS provides rich information on topics including the affordability of coverage and care, barriers to receiving health care, mental health and oral health, among others. Additional findings from this year’s release include:

  • Since 2009, the percent of Coloradans who report struggling to pay medical bills has fallen steadily from 22 percent to 14 percent in 2017. Coloradans living in rural areas were slightly more likely than those in urban areas to report problems paying medical bills.
  • Most Coloradans report being satisfied with their health insurance plans, but satisfaction varies based on type of coverage. Approximately 90 percent of those covered by Medicaid, Medicare or employer-sponsored health coverage report being satisfied with the range of services available to them, compared to 72 percent of those who are insured through the individual market.
  • Mental health continues to be a pressing concern for many Coloradans. The percent of Coloradans reporting poor mental health was up in 2017, and nearly 8 percent of Coloradans reported they did not get the mental health care they needed.

For more findings from this year’s CHAS, click here.

Posted in KidsFlash, News Release |


KIDS COUNT tour stops in Southwest Colorado

Last week our Children’s Campaign team traveled to Cortez, Durango and Alamosa to share how kids are doing in these communities through our KIDS COUNT in Colorado! report. In each presentation we discussed specific data about child well-being and were able to hear how the participants see these factors affecting children and families. We were joined by more than 90 community advocates across this tour. We also were interviewed by KSJD radio in Cortez regarding this year’s specific focus around racial and ethnic equity.

kidscounttour1

Each community has recently seen a further decrease in child poverty as well as an increase of children with health insurance. Attendees were able to reflect on these successes, as well as challenges kids continue to face across the state, including affordable housing and availability ofhigh quality early childhood opportunities. We enjoy the opportunity to meet with local organizations when we travel. Several community organizations generously shared their time and expertise with our team during this trip, including: School Community Youth Collaborative in Cortez, Compañeros: Four Corners Immigrant Resource Center in Durango, and La Plata Family Centers Coalition in Durango.

kidscounttour2

Many thanks to our It’s About Kids leaders in these areas for helping to host and coordinate: Vangi McCoy, Libby Culver, Heather Hawk, Eileen Wasserman, and Sherri Valdez.

Posted in KidsFlash, Outreach |


We urge Congress to stand with Dreamers

The Colorado Children’s Campaign has joined more than 320 child and youth advocacy organizations in a letter to Congress expressing our support for the bipartisan Dream Act of 2017. The bill would provide lawful status and a path to citizenship for hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth and young adults who came to the United States as children, including recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The letter urges Congress to take immediate action to pass a clean Dream Act following President Trump’s decision to terminate DACA. As a result, more than 800,000 Dreamers who have been able to access work authorization and protection from deportation are once again facing an uncertain future.

As an organization concerned with the well-being of children and families, we recognize that rescinding DACA will have immediate, severe consequences for recipients and their families. Recipients will lose their work authorization and once again be at risk for deportation, threatening their safety, economic security, and mental health—as well as that of their families. An estimated 25 percent of DACA recipients are parents to U.S. citizen children. The decision also means that more than 200,000 Dreamers under age 15 who were waiting to age into DACA no longer have the opportunity to apply.

More than 17,000 DACA recipients reside in Colorado. They are our students, neighbors, coworkers, and community members. The bipartisan Dream Act is common-sense legislation that will provide a permanent solution for these and many more young Dreamers, ensuring their wellbeing and future success as well as the success of Colorado. We join advocates from around the country to urge Congress to immediately pass the Dream Act.

Posted in KidsFlash, Legislative, Outreach |


Advocacy workshop on executive branch

The Colorado Health Foundation is hosting a third workshop of an ongoing learning series: Advocating for Impact: Navigating the Executive Branch and Regulatory Process on Monday, Oct. 16.

The workshop will provide details about Colorado’s regulatory and rule-making process. Speakers, including our VP of Early Childhood Initiatives, Bill Jaeger, will provide insight into procedures that Colorado state agencies follow when establishing rules and regulations, how regulatory advocacy can advance a nonprofit organizations’ mission and tips on how to advocate effectively. Click here to register.

Posted in KidsFlash, Outreach |


Fast Fact- September 22, 2017

In 2015, 250,000 Colorado children under 6 lived in families where all available parents were in the labor force (approximately 64 percent of kids in this age group). These are children who likely need child care during the day, but Colorado’s licensed child care and preschool settings only have the capacity to serve a fraction of this group. For more data on Colorado’s youngest kids, please visit the KIDS COUNT Data Center.

Posted in Fast Facts, KidsFlash |


Colorado’s child poverty rate drops again; uninsured rate for Colorado kids stays flat

Data released this week from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey show encouraging trends in the well-being of Colorado kids. According to the new data, Colorado’s child poverty rate declined to 13.4 percent in 2016, down from 14.7 percent in 2015. The change is statistically significant, and our state’s poverty rate for kids is now the lowest it has been since 2003. About 166,000 Colorado kids lived in poverty as of 2016, which is approximately 16,000 fewer kids in poverty than in 2015. Black, Hispanic and Asian children in Colorado experienced the largest declines in child poverty rates between 2015 and 2016, but they remain significantly more likely to experience poverty than white children due to a long history of policies and practices that have created barriers to opportunity for people of color.  Nationally, the child poverty rate fell to 19.5 percent from 20.7 percent, also a statistically significant drop.

Povertypicone

Povertybyrace

Note: Poverty rates for American Indian/Alaska Native children and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander children are not shown here due to large margins of error.

American Community Survey data on Colorado’s uninsured rate for kids show that it stayed relatively flat between 2015 and 2016. The percent of Colorado kids under 18 without health insurance in 2016 was 4.0 percent, which is not a statistically significant change from 2015. American Indian/Alaska Native children were the only group to experience a statistically significant decline in their uninsured rate. Since 2009, however, Colorado has made incredible progress toward ensuring all kids have health coverage. Between 2009 and 2016, more than 73,000 Colorado kids gained health insurance. As of 2016, approximately 50,000 Colorado kids remained without coverage. The Children’s Campaign is committed to protecting our progress in ensuring kids have health insurance and removing barriers to health insurance for those who remain uninsured.

Healthcoverage

We’ll have more analysis of the ACS data in coming editions of KidsFlash as we dig further into the numbers. Stay tuned.

Posted in Child Health, KidsFlash, News Release, Research |


ALERT: Take action to support CHIP

In case you missed it, we issued an alert yesterday to take action on CHIP. Please reach out to our Senators and your U.S. Representative today!

With just a few legislative days left in September, Congress has not ensured funding for the vital and successful Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will continue. Today, CHIP serves 8.9 million kids nationally. In Colorado, about 90,000 kids and pregnant women use the program to access quality, affordable health care.

As a leader of the 2017 Colorado CHIP Coalition, we released a statement sharing our excitement about Senate leaders and our Colorado Senate delegation taking the first bipartisan steps to continue funding for CHIP, but that proposal isn’t over all the hurdles. We need Congress to cross the finish line by Sept. 30. If Congress fails to act, Colorado children and pregnant women will begin losing their health insurance shortly after the first of the year.

We need your action now. Call your U.S. Senators and Representatives using the contact information below. Let them know you support continued funding for CHIP because Colorado values its working families and every child’s health. For ideas on what to say, suggested talking points are below.

The clock is ticking.

Talking point to show your support for Senators Bennet and Gardner lauding the bipartisan Senate agreement:

  • Thank you for your support of the bipartisan Senate agreement to extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Additional talking points for you to use when contacting our Senators and your Representative:

  • We’re excited that Senate leaders have announced a bipartisan proposal to keep CHIP funded. We need Congress to cross the finish line by Sept. 30.
  • Extending funding for five years will help ensure stable coverage for working families and greater budget certainty for states.
  • Maintaining funding for the CHIP program is crucial to protecting Colorado’s budget.
  • 90,000 children and pregnant women from working families in Colorado use CHIP for their health insurance every year.
  • Children with chronic conditions deserve certainty in their medical coverage. And pregnant women should not be forced to scramble for a new doctor mid-pregnancy. Ending a successful program, with little warning, denies children the healthy start they need.
  • Kids with health coverage are less likely to drop out of high school, more likely to graduate from college, and have higher incomes as adults.

Contact Information for Colorado’s U. S. Senators

Senator Michael Bennett

Local office (303) 455-7600 National office (202) 224-5852

Senator Cory Gardner

Local office (303) 391-5777 National office (202) 224-5941

Contact Information for Colorado’s U.S. Representatives

Representative Coffman

Call if you live in Aurora, Centennial, Highlands Ranch, Brighton

Local office (720) 748-7514 National office (202) 225-7882

Representative Tipton

Call if you live in Grand Junction, Durango, Pueblo, Gunnison

Local office (970) 259-1490 National office (202) 225-4761

Representative Buck

Call if you live in Greeley, Fort Collins, Longmont, Brush, Burlington, Fort Morgan, Stratton, Julesburg, Holyoke

Local office (970) 702-2136 National office (202) 225-4676

Representative Lamborn

Call if you live in Salida, Buena Vista, Colorado Springs, Monument, Fountain, Canyon City, Woodland Park

Local office (719) 520-0055 National office (202) 225-4422

Representative Polis

Call if you live in Lafayette, Niwot, Boulder, Fort Collins, Lyons, Loveland, Granby, Breckenridge, Silverthorne, Kremmling

Local office (303) 484-9596 National office (202) 225-2161

Representative Perlmutter

Call if you live in Lakewood, Arvada, Westminster, Thornton, Northglenn

Local office (303)274-7944 National office (202) 225-2645

Representative DeGette

Call if you live in Denver

Local (303) 844-4988 (202) 225-4431

Thank you!

Posted in Child Health, KidsFlash, Legislative, Research |


Report: How much progress has Colorado made to change the state’s vaccination outlook?


immunizat

The Colorado Immunization Coalition released a first-of-its kind report: The 2017 State of the State’s Immunization: A Report on Colorado’s Vaccine Protection for Its Communities this week. The report provides a comprehensive look at Colorado’s immunization history and future opportunities for improving coverage rates and public health infrastructure in Colorado. The report looks back at the past 15 years of Colorado’s efforts to increase state-wide vaccination rates. It also offers insights on the status of immunization coverage and disease risk, and policies that impact these outcomes in Colorado. Highlights include:

  • For each cohort of babies born in Colorado, vaccination saves 652 lives, prevents 310,608 cases of disease, and averts $1.07 billion in direct and indirect costs.
  • The health and economic costs of vaccine preventable diseases are significant in Colorado. Recent and current outbreaks and investigations of measles, mumps, Hepatitis A and influenza (flu) have resulted in avoidable emergency room visits, hospitalizations and millions of dollars in healthcare costs. In 2015 alone, hospital and emergency department charges to treat children in Colorado for vaccine-preventable diseases totaled $35 million.
  • Variation in immunization rates is visible within school districts. For example, in Loveland’s Thompson R2-J School District, up-to-date student vaccination rates vary from 34 percent in one school to 98 percent in another.
  • Colorado’s lenient non-medical exemption policies present a risk to children and communities. Colorado is one of only 18 states that allow parents to exempt their children from immunizations required for school and childcare for philosophical or personal belief reasons. Requiring only a parent signature, the state also has one of the most lenient methods for claiming such exemptions. Consequently, Colorado has consistently had one of the highest non-medical exemption rates in the nation with over 95 percent of exemptions at K-12 schools submitted for nonmedical reasons. Charter and Waldorf schools make up nearly one-third of the 20 schools with the highest exemption rates in the state.

You can read the full report here.

Posted in Child Health, Early Childhood, KidsFlash |


DACA Renewal Clinics in Boulder Next Week

The Trump administration ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on September 5, 2017. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that it will no longer accept new DACA applications, but that those currently enrolled in DACA will be able to continue working until their permits expire. If your DACA authorization expires before March 5, 2018, you MUST apply to renew your DACA within the next 30 days. Professor Violeta Chapin and her law students from the University of Colorado Law School will host two-day long workshops at the law school in Boulder on Sept. 20 and Sept. 27 from 10-4 p.m. for anyone whose DACA expires within the timeline above to renew their authorization. These renewals will be free and completely confidential. You can sign up and find more information here.

Posted in KidsFlash, Outreach |


 

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