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Texans should support access to care for women of childbearing age

Written by Steve Lowe, President and CEO Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council, March of Dimes Texas Chapter State Advocacy and Government Affairs Committee Member

We like to say that everything is bigger here in Texas, but that’s not always such a good thing. These days we have a Texas-sized problem with providing health insurance to women of childbearing age, and that means some babies are born less healthy than they could or should be.

If you’re a low-income woman between the ages of 19 and 44 in our state, your options for health insurance coverage are very limited. A woman isn’t eligible for Medicaid unless she’s pregnant.

Many Texas women of childbearing age remain uninsured. Over the years 2010-2012, an average of 33%, or one in every three, women of childbearing age in Texas had no health insurance, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, putting us near the bottom of the national rankings.

This situation represents a real missed opportunity, not only for those women but for their babies. The greatest opportunities to improve the health of a woman and her child during pregnancy occur before she becomes pregnant.

Good Food Force: Alicia Keys, #MomsVote, Lunch Box Inspirations and more!

Welcome to this week's Good Food Force Update! We have a special announcement this week ... please read on, and share! 
 
1. THE HOT LINE
Announcing... #WeAreHere! 
HUGE news! Alicia Keys just announced she's contributing to @MomsRising & #WeAreHere partners! Find out more about #WeAreHere at: www.WeAreHereMovement.com.
 
Let's Get Out the #MomsVote! 
In most states, voter registration deadlines are just around the corner so there’s no time to spare. Click here to remind your friends to register to vote! 
 
Our “Mad Men” era workplace polices--unequal pay, lack of paid family leave, childcare that costs more than college, lack of paid sick days, the need to raise the minimum wage, and more--are getting some much needed attention lately, but the fact is that not a whole lot is being done about it in Congress beyond talking.
 
There is an election right around the corner and this is our chance to elect leaders who truly represent families.

#FoodFri Tweetchat: Learn more about Smart Snacks + Healthy School Fundraisers!

Tweetchat

Sick of fast-food & candy fundraisers in schools? We are too! Thankfully, this year most states are turning to healthier school fundraisers.  Consistent with the USDA’s Smart Snacks that improve the nutrition of snacks and drinks sold through the a la carte line at lunch, school stores, and vending machines, school fundraisers hosted during the day are getting a make-over!

Join #FoodFri this Friday, Septemeber 26. 2014 at 1pm, EST on Twitter

While some states are providing some limited exemptions for school fundraisers, many are going with just healthy fundraising options. This #FoodFri tweetchat will be an opportunity to share resources, generate discussion, and draw attention to the issue. So, join us!

We want to hear from YOU.

Mark your calendars and share on Twitter by clicking below!

Happy Fall! Recipe: Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Recipe!

by NGA/KidsGardening.org Staff 

It’s pumpkin time again! Although it is the eye catching, orange fruit of the pumpkin plant that receives the honor of being the hallowed symbol of season, the seeds deserve some glory too. Think twice before you toss those pumpkin guts this year. Pumpkin seeds are tasty little packages full of vitamins and minerals offering numerous health benefits.

Pumpkin seeds, also called pepitas, are green in color often surrounded by an off white seed coat or shell (or hull or husk). Some varieties produce seeds without a shell. An energy dense food, they contain high levels of protein and fat along with important nutrients including Vitamin E, tryptophan, zinc, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper. Full nutritional information is available from theUSDA National Nutrient Database. Although the whole fruit is usually only available in the fall, the seeds and oil produced from the seeds can be purchased year round.

What Spanking May Be Teaching Your Children

Spanking is a topic that can break a room in half in a matter of seconds. For this exact reason I have been cautious, thoughtful, and patient about when I would approach it. Last night I watched CNN as several talking heads spoke of Adrian Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings running back who is currently being investigated for beating his 4-year-old son with a switch. The commentators brought up all sorts of reasons, judgments, and statistics. Some I had never heard and two shocked me to the core: 70% of Americans approve of “a good hard spanking” and 94% of parents of children ages 3-4 report spanking their children. The time finally felt right for me to write what I know about spanking and what I call “fear based discipline.”

Wrong, Wrong, Wrong

Well, they did it again.

Senate Republican leaders last week blocked Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) bill that would let students refinance their college loans. It’s not the first time. They also did it in June.

Don’t they understand that student loan debt is an emergency? It totals $1.2 trillion—and yes, that’s with a “T.” Sen. Warren’s bill would help 25 million student loan borrowers, saving them each an average of $2,000.

It would help them, if not for the Republican leaders’ refusal to allow a vote on the bill. Once again, the Republicans are choosing to protect their millionaire and billionaire friends—you see, Warren’s bill would be paid for by implementing the “Buffett Rule,” which would close tax loopholes for the super-wealthy.

Thank a Suffragete: Celebrate National Voter Registration Day!

This weekend I will have the privilege to sit with my early childhood education advocate peers in the same room at Cranalieth as Susan B Anthony, Rachel Avery and many other suffragetes when they worked through fighting for a woman's right to vote. My DVAEYC ECE Fellowship peers and I (Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children) to discuss early childhood education and how it can be improved. What an honor to call these women peers who lead high quality early leanring centers; create high quality early learning television programming and digital media; and connect families with best practices for young children with special needs.  Step 1 is certainly exercising our right to have our voices hear through the electoral process. 
This is a historic time across America for Women's RIghts - which in turn means for children's rights, for Family Rights, for all of our inalienable rights!
Just last week the U.S. Senate voted to block the Paycheck Fairness Act from moving forward the same week that new data from the U.S.

Now's the time: Remind your friends and family to register to vote! It's easy.

Register to Vote!

Bring it.

That was the reaction that many MomsRising members shared last week when the U.S. Senate voted to block the Paycheck Fairness Act from moving forward the same week that new data from the U.S. Census showed the pay gap had closed by only 1 cent.

Bring it. The fight is ON and we're voting for candidates who support equal pay.

But before we take our fight to the ballot box, we have to make sure we’re registered to vote.

*Click here to make sure that your friends and family are registered to vote and to remind them that voting is critical this November.

In most states, voter registration deadlines are just around the corner so there’s no time to spare. By clicking above, we’ll make it easy for you to remind your friends to register to vote by posting an image, sending an email, and more.

Expanding Medicaid Helps Children Succeed in School

See the original blog post at the FamiliesUSA blog by Dee Mahan

***************

Researchers from Cornell and Harvard have found that children who have health insurance through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) go further in school than children who are uninsured, according to a recent report. Compared to their uninsured counterparts, children covered by Medicaid or CHIP are more likely to complete high school, as well as attend and complete college. Medicaid or CHIP health coverage helps children perform better academically through adulthood, which can help them succeed in life.

That’s an important finding for state policymakers to keep in mind: A state’s education and health care investments complement each other. When states invest in robust, affordable health coverage options through Medicaid and CHIP, they can help children achieve more in school. 

Join MomsRising, Voto Latino, Advancement Project and more for National Voter Registration Day!

Please join MomsRising, Voto Latino, and Advancement Project on Tuesday, September 23 at 1 PM ET/ 10 AM PT to tweet resources and questions about National Voter Registration Day!

Come and share your questions, experiences, resources, and more this Tuesday using hashtag #CelebrateNVRD on Twitter.

 

DATE: Tuesday, September 23, 2014 

TIME: 1-2pm ET / 10-11am PT

WHERE: On Twitter with the hashtag #CelebrateNVRD

CO-HOSTS: @MomsRising, @Votolatino and @adv_project 

 

Tweet with us!

 

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