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Get Involved: Global Day of Action to Cut Conflict Palm Oil


When problems seem overwhelming for our children, we remind them to take things “one day at time.” Amazingly, their problems often don’t seem so big or so overwhelming anymore.

On May 20, 2014, you and your family can join me and my family and thousands of other folks around the world as we take one day and create thousands and thousands of actions around ONE ask: PepsiCo The Power to Cut Conflict Palm Oil is #InYourPalm.

For most of us, making a difference and creating change around huge global problems like the destruction of the world’s rainforests and climate change seems way too big and too hard to imagine taking on. As parents, between work in and outside our homes, getting to and from lacrosse games, music and dance classes, putting nutritional meals on the table, arranging play dates for our kids, and finding time for the occasional play date of our own, our lives are full, busy, and regularly frenetic and hectic.

Crossing into New Territory with 25,000 Newly Covered Kids

At Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, we’ve been working for many years to ensure that all children have health coverage here in our state. Our latest report, Crossing into New Territory: Kids’ Health Coverage in 2014, outlines the progress Arkansas has made in covering kids since 1997. For the first time ever, fewer than six percent of Arkansas children lack health insurance, down from 22 percent in 1997. This dramatic reduction is no accident. It is the product of a concerted, bipartisan, years-long effort to make sure kids are covered. 

CHIP Works for Children in Alabama and Across the Country

As a pediatrician caring for more than 100 children each week in the rural community of Brewton, Alabama, I’ve seen some of my patients grow into parents themselves, bringing in their children to see me as their doctor. Throughout my 33 years practicing pediatrics here, I’ve observed many changes in the field of medicine; advances in technology, new diagnoses, research that has helped shed light on how to prevent some conditions that were previously untreatable. I’ve also seen changes in insurance coverage over the years, and observed how insurance impacts the health of my patients, particularly children with complex health conditions.

One source of insurance coverage that has helped Alabama’s children stay healthy over the years is All Kids, our state Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). All Kids works for children in Alabama; in fact, we were the very first state to enact our CHIP program when the federal government matched our state’s funding in 1997. There is a strong bipartisan history to CHIP, and its funding runs out next year

You Hold Your Child’s Health Care in Your Hands

Your family means everything to you. You want your children to lead happy, healthy lives. When you see your child lashing out at his peers, his teachers, even you, what do you do? When you see your child suffering from a sore throat and a possible ear infection, what do you do? Does what you do to support your children’s overall well-being and health change because you lack access to the health care necessary to support their mental health and physical health? Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) can help you move past barriers and reach for the health care that your family deserves.

Medicaid and the CHIP can provide insurance for your children and family at low or no costs, depending on eligibility. Enrollment for both Medicaid and CHIP is open all year round, and there are no deadlines for application. If you need health insurance, eligible parents and children can get extensive coverage quickly.

Healthy Parents Make for Supported Kids

Did you know that the child support program serves more than 17 million children – 1 in 4 in the U.S.?

Yes the child support program is about collecting money. It helps assure that children can get what they need, like clothes and school supplies, and lifts about a million people out of poverty each year.

But child support is about so much more than just the money. Our core belief is that children deserve financial and emotional support from both of their parents. We want all parents to be successful parents. Instinctively we know that it’s much easier for parents to take care of their children’s financial and emotional health when they are looking after their own health.

That’s why various child support programs from around the country are working hard to connect all children and their parents to health care coverage – through referrals to the Marketplace and the CHIP and Medicaid programs.

Connecting Families to Coverage

Connecting Kids To Coverage! A Blog Carnival On Continuing Medicaid and CHIP Enrollment

Blog Carnival!

Having health coverage means better access to health care and also greater financial security for the family.  More children than ever before now have health insurance and can get the vital health services they need.  But many still need coverage – and the great news is that they may still have a chance to get covered now.  Children and teens up to age 19 may be eligible for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).  Parents may be eligible for Medicaid too.  Eligible individuals can enroll at any time – so it’s never too late!

Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive!

As a parent of a 13-month-old, my son is already the embodiment of what I hope for most; William is happiness and light personified. I am constantly amazed at how quickly he changes in appearance and ability. I know his father and I will support him as he endeavors to reach milestones throughout his young life and into adulthood. And I know we will celebrate these moments within the unique context that is William.

The Departments of Health and Human Services and Education have partnered to launch Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive!, a coordinated effort to encourage developmental and behavioral screening and support for children, families, and the providers who care for them. Birth to 5: Watch Me Thrive! seeks to:

Healthy kids do better in schools

Healthy kids do better in schools.  Students who are healthy are better able to focus on what’s being taught in class and they’re less likely to be absent due to illness.  Instructional time is vital to student success and schools can do a lot to make sure students are in class, healthy, and ready to learn.  We also know the following:

Keeping All Youth and Young Adults Enrolled in Health Care

Do you know a young adult who has taken advantage of the President’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) provision that allows young people to stay on their parent’s health plan until they are 26 years old? In this age of underemployment, lots of new high school and college graduates are grateful (and so are their parents) for that benefit. Now, imagine what happens to young adults who have spent their teenage years in foster care, with the state as their parent. When they reach 18-21, they leave foster care and its benefits and must find a job, a home, and their place in the world. Fortunately, thanks to the ACA, they now have access to health-care coverage similar to that of other young adults.

Minnesota Bill Against Shackling Pregnant Women Heads to Governor

On May 8, the Minnesota Legislature sent a bill to the governor to improve the treatment of pregnant women in prison and jail. The unanimous votes cap a lightning-fast campaign during a short legislative session.

Officially, the bill is known as Senate File 2423 and the description accompanying the bill reads, “addressing the needs of incarcerated women related to pregnancy and childbirth.”

Lead advocate Children’s Defense Fund shifted the emphasis away from “the needs of incarcerated women” and instead promoted the bill as a way to ensure “Healthy Beginnings for Babies of Incarcerated Women.”

How do babies begin? They begin in women’s bodies.

Women need prenatal care for their health as well as to improve the chances of a having a healthy baby. Pregnant women’s physical and emotional well-being isn’t important just because it has an impact on fetal development; it’s important for women’s own lives, too.

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