While Congressional Republican leadership was busy trying to strip health care insurance from millions of Americans, another critically important program is barreling towards an expiration date. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides health insurance for about 9 million children “with family incomes above Medicaid eligibility limits who lack access to affordable private coverage.” It also covers thousands of pregnant women each year. Over 3 million children are enrolled in Texas; more than 2.5 million children in Florida; and, half a million in Minnesota.
CHIP’s federal funding is set to expire tomorrow (September 30th), which puts some states at immediate risk. In fact, Utah has already started the process of winding down its program in case funding is not renewed. Similar actions will also occur in many states because “states have assumed continued federal funding in their state budgets.” The states most at risk of exhausting all their funding before the end of 2017 are Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Mississippi, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Utah.
Also expiring on September 30 is the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV). MIECHV improves outcomes from young children and their families. The program pairs families looking for additional support and mentoring with trained home visitors such as nurses and social workers. MIECHV provides funds for developing and implementing voluntary, evidence-based home visiting programs, and is effective in improving maternal and newborn health, reducing childhood injuries, improving school readiness, and improving economic self-sufficiency.
Most experts expect federal funding for CHIP to still be re-authorized before the end of the year; but this still leaves so many Americans worrying about health care for their kids in the meantime. And why cause this unnecessary worry? Instead of trying to negotiate a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans or attempting sabotage of the Affordable Care Act, Congress should focus on ensured access to health care for children. Avoiding this key responsibility is morally reprehensible.
ACTION OF THE DAY
Path to Citizenship. A new poll from Fox News shows that 83 percent of Americans favor a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S. This adds to a growing trend of Americans calling for a solution for Dreamers living and working in this country. Not only would a clean Dream Act (without compromises) help hundreds of thousands of young immigrants in the U.S., but it would also provide an economic boon to all Americans. Call on your representatives to pass a #CleanDreamAct today using our Dream Act toolkit. And then share the image below!
Not A “Good News Story.” Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Elaine Duke, drew criticism yesterday for saying that the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico is a “good news story.” Carmen Yulín Cruz, the Mayor of San Juan, quickly struck back, saying, “This is not a good news story. This is a people are dying story.” In fact, stories from the ground paint a devastating picture. In addition to leaving virtually the entire island without power, Hurricane Maria killed 16 people in Puerto Rico, and 49 people across the Caribbean; left 60 percent of residents without access to clean water; and decimated 80 percent of the island’s crop value. Urge Congress to take action to provide relief for victims of the hurricanes by using Generation Progress’s tool.
Driving Up the Price. New reports show that the total cost of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price’s private flights may top $1 million since May. Price apologized yesterday and agreed to write a check to the government for $51,887.31—a mere five percent of his total bill. These actions are especially atrocious given Price’s continued lobbying to cut the federal government’s budget, which would negatively affect programs that directly help millions of Americans each year. Trump has yet to make a decision on Price’s future in the administration, simply saying, “We’ll see.” Price isn’t the only one in hot water for using taxpayer dollars to fly private. New reports show Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke took a $12,000 flight on an oil and gas industry plane from a Nevada event with his largest political donor to his home in Montana.
Rights for Some. Just days after President Trump’s extremely polarizing words antagonizing NFL players who kneel during the national anthem in protest of racial injustice, public schools in Louisiana have reportedly issued a warning to their student athletes that not standing during the national anthem will result in a loss of playing time. This, of course, is an unconstitutional attack on players’ First Amendment rights. Louisiana schools should stand by their students’ constitutional rights rather than appease the ego of a President who is on the wrong side of history on this issue.
All the President’s Men. Yesterday, the White House announced President Trump’s eighth wave of judicial nominees. The problem? They’re all white men (aside from just one man of color), and they’ve all been hailed by Breitbart and Daily Caller as fantastic picks. One nominee, Kyle Duncan, was the counsel for Hobby Lobby in the infamous Supreme Court case about contraceptives. Other nominees have been just as detrimental to the cause of minorities and working class people. This non-representative group of demonstrably conservative men couldn’t possibly be expected to uphold the law in an impartial and representative manner for women, people of color, and other minority groups.
UNDER THE RADAR
The Economics of Misogyny. The day after Donald Trump was elected, Merriam Webster reported that “misogyny” was one of the top words searched that day, along with “racist,” “bigot,” and “xenophobe”. This isn’t surprising, considering Trump has repeatedly denigrated women and referred to them as “pigs, dogs and slobs.” Misogyny, which takes sexist attitudes and acts on them in a hostile or violent way, is often revealed through demeaning or denigrating comments and actions. In today’s atmosphere, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what misogyny is and its impact on our nation. The Center for American Progress breaks it down in this new piece. To join the conversation, follow along at @CAPwomen on Twitter.