Extend CHIP funding

The fight over tax reform in Congress is rubbing off on spending, creating partisan rifts that may ending up hurting some of America's most vulnerable citizens — the children of the working poor.

Congress is caught in a partisan crossfire over where money should come from to fund the Children's Health Insurance Program, which covers nine million children and pregnant women in families that make too much money for Medicaid but can't afford insurance through the marketplace or their employers.

CHIP is jointly funded by the federal government and states, but the feds pick up about 80 percent of the tab. Congress let funding for the program expire on Sept. 30 and if it doesn't act soon, states will have to consider ending programs that provide coverage.

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How Not to Talk to a Child Who Is Overweight

I weigh my words (pun intended) every time I address the topic of a child’s obesity in the exam room. Yes, I know, you probably want to tell me that I shouldn’t use that word — “obese” — and I promise that I don’t. But in the child’s electronic medical record, that’s the official coding if the child’s body mass index is at or above the 95th percentile for age and gender. And medical providers, just like parents, may find themselves walking a difficult line as they try to discuss this fraught subject without increasing the distress that many children are already feeling.

“Guilt and blame don’t motivate change, they just make people feel bad, and when people feel bad, they don’t tend to be motivated toward healthy behavior,” said Dr. Stephen J. Pont, an assistant professor at the University of Texas Dell Medical School.

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States, feds scramble to preserve children's health insurance

Several states and the Trump administration are fervently searching for stopgap measures to keep insurance for low-income children while Congress debates spending for the national program.

The Children’s Health Insurance Program expired Sept. 30, but Congress has been in no rush to fund the program since states aren’t expected to run out of funding yet. The Trump administration has taken steps to shore up states that will run out of funding soon as states try to figure out where to plug funding holes.

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Poll: 2 out of 3 parents struggle finding childcare that meets their health, safety standards

The search for the best preschool or childcare option is often a challenging experience – and many parents aren’t sure if the one they pick is safe and healthy for their child, according to a new national poll.

About 62 percent of parents say it’s difficult to find childcare options that meet all of their standards, and only about half were very confident that they could tell if a childcare option was safe and healthy, according to the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health(link is external)at the University of Michigan.

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Getting Doctors To Stop Prescribing Codeine To Kids Has Taken Years

For years the Food and Drug Administration has been trying to get doctors to quit prescribing codeine, an opioid painkiller, to children after getting their tonsils or adenoids out.

But it can be hard to get clinicians to change their prescribing habits, even when children have died and other less risky medications are available.

In 2013, the FDA told providers that "codeine should not be used for pain in children following these procedures." But in December 2015, nearly three years later, 5 percent of children were being prescribed the drug after surgery, according to a study published Thursday in Pediatrics.

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Parents of 4-year-old with cancer can’t buy ACA plan to cover her hospital care

Four-year-old Colette Briggs bounded into the dining room where her parents sat in the midst of another distressing conversation. Oblivious to their anxiety, she cheerily asked her mom to retie one of the loose pigtails atop her head.

Ever since her brown locks regrew long enough for a ponytail, hair has been a big deal around here, her father, Christopher Briggs, said as Colette skipped off to rejoin her older sisters.

To watch the bubbly preschooler play, a perma-smile on her cherubic face, no one would know she was sick. But for half of her young life, since the day a Lyme disease scare uncovered aggressive leukemia, she has been in and out of chemotherapy treatments.

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We will fight for our kids' health care, Congress

As I watch my daughter climb on and wrestle with her big brother, I remember the daily, intensive physical therapy that consumed our days.

As I hear her call out “Ready to go, Mommy!” I remember thinking that she wouldn’t be speaking for several more years because of her developmental delays.

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Congress needs to get to work and reauthorize children's health insurance

I have Lupus: a chronic disease I have had since I was nine years old. As I grew up, my disease worsened. I saw specialists and needed sophisticated and costly testing. There were more trips to the emergency room and increasingly expensive medicines needed. My mother was young and divorced, raising two girls on her own.

She had a good job with health care benefits and a compassionate, flexible boss. And she had her social capital, as a white woman with the language of power and privilege she could wield on behalf of her sick child. These factors, plus her unwavering love kept me healthy and symptom-free.

Right now there are mothers like mine, with sick children, who lack the employer health benefits that my mother had. Their access to health care is in the hands of Congress as they are anxiously waiting for Democrats and Republicans to finally work together and fund the Child Health Insurance Program, known as CHIP.

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To Build Healthy Communities For Kids, Ask Kids What They Need

In the heart of the Crow Reservation in southeastern Montana, the 450-person town of Valley of the Chiefs has faced mounting difficulties over the past several decades. In the last two generations, the Crow Nation has lost 80% of its population and 73% of its land. Economic dispossession has rattled Valley of the Chiefs, as members of the community have turned to substance abuse and violence. For youth, who make up around 43% of the population, the town is especially harsh.

Valley of the Chiefs is one of six communities selected this year to participate in Raising Places, a new initiative developed by the Chicago-based design firm Greater Good Studio and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to initiate ground-up local projects that will support a healthier environment for children–and by extension, everyone around them. “The research has shown for a long time that where you grow up matters,” says Sara Aye, executive director of the Greater Good Studio. “It matters for your health, it matters for your broader success in life. We can’t create a culture of health in America if we don’t have healthy places for kids to live and grow.”

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Poor children benefit when parents have access to healthcare

(Reuters Health) - Low-income children in the U.S. whose parents qualified for Medicaid were more likely to receive preventive care, regardless of their own insurance coverage, a new study finds.

Researchers called the finding “an important spillover effect.”

Children whose mothers and fathers were enrolled in Medicaid, government insurance for the poor, were 29 percent more likely to receive at least one well-child visit, a just-released Pediatrics report showed.

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