Archive: Policy Today

January 2011

HHS Announces Health Center Planning Grant Opportunity

January 7, 2011
PRNewswire

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced up to $10 million in funding for a Health Center Planning Grant (HCPG) opportunity for organizations across the country that would like to become a Community Health Center.  The HCPG opportunity is intended to support organizations in the future development of a health center and will support approximately 125 HCPGs in FY 2011.

Sharfstein outlines priorities as new Md. health chief

January 5, 2011
Baltimore Business Journal

Scott Dance

Gov. Martin O’Malley and incoming state health Secretary Joshua Sharfstein laid out goals Wednesday of improving health care quality and affordability while crafting a new health insurance marketplace. The two men appeared at a press conference, formally announcing Sharfstein’s appointment, with outgoing Health and Mental Hygiene Secretary John M. Colmers. Sharfstein, a physician, will take over Jan. 12. Top priorities will be reducing infant mortality rates, improving effectiveness of drug treatment programs and speeding adoption of health care information technology to improve care and lower costs, O’Malley said.

October 2010

Infant health focus of hearing
Local African American rate for infant mortality raises worry

October 15, 2010
BDN Connection

Hilary Gavan

“We are close to being a third world country when it comes to infant mortality.”

That’s what State Sen. Judy Robson, D-Beloit, said about Rock County’s high African American infant mortality rates.

Robson, who chairs the Wisconsin Legislative Council’s Special Committee on Infant Mortality, was in Beloit to discuss the high African American infant mortality rate he and seek input for solutions.

“It’s shocking and very embarrassing we have such high quality healthcare, yet our babies are dying much too soon,” she said.

U.S. Health Bills Show C-Sections Cut Two Ways

October 7, 2010
WeNews
Naomi Abraham

The Global MOMS Act seeks to make C-sections more available to women in the developing world. Another maternal health bill–this one focused on the U.S.–flags the procedure as dangerous when it becomes routine.

Congresswoman Lois Capps of California couldn’t have been less surprised when the recent U.N. development goals review conference spotlighted faltering financial commitments to maternal health in the developing world.

September 2010

PREEMIE Bill Introduced in Senate

September 30, 2010
Health News Digest
March of Dimes

Washington, D.C.: Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Chris Dodd (D-CT) introduced legislation today to reauthorize the PREEMIE Act (P.L. 109-450) to continue and enhance federal support for research into the causes and prevention of premature birth and to reduce infant mortality caused by prematurity.

“The 2006 enactment of PREEMIE drove critically needed attention and resources into research to address the epidemic of premature birth,” said Jennifer L. Howse, PhD, president of the March of Dimes. “Now four years later, due to the innovative work of scientists and clinicians across the nation, many supported by the original PREEMIE Act, we are seeing progress: for the first time in three decades in the form of a two-year drop in rate of preterm birth.”

June 2010

Shelby County fares well in ‘difficult’ state budget

June 10, 2010
Tri-State Defender
Senator Reginald Tate

Last week we passed the 2010-11 state budget that we have negotiated for the last two months. We lack decisions on only a few bills, and lawmakers should be finished for the legislative year by the time that you read this column.

January 2010

Tea leaves on critical bill

January 20, 2010
Politico.com
Matt Negrin

Here’s what some officials, reporters and analysts were saying about the fate of health care reform legislation after Tuesday’s special Senate election in Massachusetts:

December 2009

Senators Pitch to Women and Elderly on Health Bill

December 1, 2009
The New York Times
Robert Pear and David M. Herszenhorn

WASHINGTON — In a day of desultory debate on sweeping health care legislation, senators appealed to two potent political constituencies on Tuesday, with Democrats seeking additional medical benefits for women and Republicans vowing to preserve and protect Medicare for older Americans.

November 2009

Health Care Reform; Government Intrusion or Necessity for Life?

November 22, 2009
Associated Content
Michael Lamka

Now that the US House of Representatives has passed America’s Health Choices Act of 2009, and as the Senate takes up debate on the Affordable Health Care for America Act in the Senate, which are better known as the Health Care Reform Act, the battle lines have been drawn between Democrats and Republicans in the Senate as each group takes up its banner in defense of or opposition to this historic bill. Because of the complexity of the issue, the disinformation spread by opponents and defenders alike, and the rumors that have nothing to do with the bill many Americans are beginning to ask themselves, “Does health care reform really matter?”

Harry Reid’s plan ups pressure on moderates

November 18, 2009
Politico
Carrie Budoff Brown

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid unveiled his $848 billion health reform bill Wednesday to broad support from fellow Democrats — and the move quickly turned up the pressure on the last few wavering moderates to support the plan, which includes a sizable chunk of deficit cutting.

House Sets Saturday Vote on Health Care Overhaul

November 4, 2009
CQ Politics

The House is moving toward a floor vote Saturday on its big health care overhaul, after Democratic leaders worked to nail down votes from some of their members who want stronger anti-abortion language in the bill.

Healthcare Update

November 2, 2009
Jon Terry

Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats took to the Capitol Steps last Thursday to unveiled their 1,990 page health reform bill:  The Affordable Health Care for America Act (HR 3962).  The House is expected to bring the bill to the floor this week.  The only sticking point for Democrats appears to be over restrictions on abortion.  Two related articles:

A summary and copy of the House bill can be found here.

Behind scenes, President Obama shepherds the health reform bill

November 2, 2009
Politico
Jeanne Cummings

As health care reform legislation inexorably makes its way through Congress, President Barack Obama, who has the biggest stake in its success, has seemed distant from the grueling, detailed work of crafting the reform law.

Yet that impression is somewhat misleading. In private meetings and chance encounters and during Air Force One flights, Obama has worked behind the scenes to move the process along, keep abreast of policy disputes and monitor House and Senate vote counts.

October 2009

Health Reformers Say Women Win, No Matter What

October 25, 2009
Women’s eNews
Rich Daly

WASHINGTON –After 10 months of legislative wrangling to advance a health care reform bill, Democrats are making a big push for U.S. women’s support to meet President Obama’s goal of passing some sort of reform this year.

Their message: No matter which congressional version passes, health reform offers a historic opportunity to eliminate serious discrimination against women by insurers

Health-care reform must improve life for women
How can we tolerate the worst maternal mortality rate in the industrialized world?

October 25, 2009
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Cathy Raphael

As a midwife in Pittsburgh’s Jewish community during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, my great-great-grandmother Hannah Sandusky brought many healthy children into the world despite the high maternal and infant mortality rates of the time.

I can’t help but wonder what “Bubbe” Hannah, as she was known to all, would make of the fact that today, some 150 years later, the United States ranks 42nd globally in maternal mortality rates, the highest among industrialized countries. Maternal mortality is a key indicator of health worldwide and reflects the ability of women to secure health-care services in general, not just pregnancy-related care.

September 2009

Senate Finance Committee Rejects Both Public Option Amendment

September 29, 2009
The Washington Post
William Branigin

The Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday rejected two Democratic amendments that would have created a government-run “public option” as part an overhaul of the nation’s health-insurance system, with the panel’s chairman bowing to staunch Republican opposition that he said would prevent final passage of a bill containing such a provision.

Baucus Introduces $856 Billion Health-Care Bill

September 16, 2009
The Washington Post
William Branigin, Lori Montgomery and Shailagh Murray

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus unveiled an $856 billion health-care reform plan Wednesday that would require nearly all Americans to carry health insurance while barring insurance companies from discriminating against people based on their health status or denying coverage because of preexisting conditions.

August 2009

Social and Emotional Development in Early Childhood

August 2009
Janice L. Cooper, Rachel Masi, and Jessica Vick
National Center for Children in Poverty

Research on early childhood has underscored the impact of the first five years of a child’s life on his/her emotional and social development. Negative early experiences can impair children’s mental health and effect their social and emotional development. This brief discusses policy actions needed to improve healthy development for young children, such as preventing severe emotional and behavioral problems among children by using family risk-factors to determine service eligibility and access.

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