You may have noticed that things look a little different with the design of the Monthly eNewsletter and our website. You're right! We've just launched our redesigned website and accompanying redesigned Monthly eNewsletter stationery. Although we've taken a lot of care to ensure that everything is working properly, there will likely be some things that we have overlooked. We’ll be smoothing things out over the next few days and will send an official email explaining the new features of the redesigned website and its new features in the near future. Thanks for your patience during this period and enjoy!
Children's Health Coverage: Unfinished Business and the Next Chapter
As we write this newsletter, Congress is finalizing legislation expanding the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that will then go to President Obama to be signed into law. With his signature our new President will take care of unfinished business from the last Congress and expand health coverage to approximately 4 million children. He will be righting one egregious wrong of President Bush who vetoed this legislation two years ago, while also providing critically needed financial help to states. And now it is time to continue with this momentum to get health coverage for all children in America something that President Obama promised and which we want to help him make a reality in 2009!
But this CHIP legislation designed for passage during the Bush Administration is neither the comprehensive child health reform truly needed in 2009 nor President Obama’s promise of health coverage for every child in America.
Once Congress enacts the CHIP expansion, we must move to the next chapter on child health care in America and make the President’s promise a reality. Even with the passage of this legislation:
- 5-6 million children will still be without any health coverage and millions more will remain underinsured.
- Children are subject to a 50-state lottery of geography in which some states to do well for children and others not.
- Six million of the nine million uninsured children currently eligible for CHIP or children's Medicaid are not enrolled because many states have adopted policies and procedures that block coverage or make it very difficult.
- States set their own benefit packages in CHIP and can exclude even critical dental, vision, and mental health services. And in this economic downturn, at least 26 states have cut or are considering cutting services to children.
CDF will continue to push lawmakers for real health care reform that guarantees comprehensive, affordable health coverage for all children—and for everyone in America—in 2009. Thank you for all of your efforts in the past to ensure health coverage for our children and we will be in touch in the following weeks on way that you can continue to join with us and step forward to improve the lives of children.
To learn more about this latest development, read CDF President Marian Wright Edelman and Executive Director for Health Care for America Now Richard Kirsch’s joint op-ed on The Huffington Post, "Expanding Health Coverage for Children Bridges Way to Health Care for All."
Q & A: New Foster Care Legislation
The bipartisan Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act, signed into law by President Bush on October 7, 2008, represents the most significant federal reforms for abused and neglected children in foster care in more than a decade. New Help for Children Raised by Grandparents and Other Relatives: Questions and Answers About the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 was developed to help ensure full and prompt implementation of the improvements in the act. This guide, prepared by the Children's Defense Fund and 17 other collaborating organizations, suggests answers to a number of questions being raised by organizations and advocates.
Don't Miss this Opportunity to be a Change Agent! Apply for the YALTSM Program Today!
Are you ready to step up and be a change agent for children? If so, apply to join one hundred young leaders, community organizers, child advocates and activists from across the country to learn new advocacy methods, models and strategies that can be implemented on your campus or in your community to improve the lives of children.
Young advocate leaders ages 18-24 are now invited to apply for the 2009 Young Advocates Leadership Training (YALT) program, March 20-22, 2009 in Clinton, Tennessee (near Knoxville). The deadline, February 9, 2009, is fast approaching - apply today and tell a friend! Visit CDF's website for more information and to download the application.
Register Today: 15th Annual Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry
Join CDF at the 15th Annual Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry, July 20-24, at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee. This year's theme is "Charting a Course for the Next Generation."
Do not miss this transforming week! You will leave renewed and restored: with new information and ideas to bring back to your community; with new hope and inspiration, brimming in your heart; and a new sense that you are not alone in your struggle to realize God's justice for America’s children.
Register now and take advantage of our early bird special!