08-11-2022  11:25 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Lottery Misses Mark on Minorities’ Fair Share

The Oregon Lottery’s most recent advertising slogan is “Together, we do good things”. But when we look at where the profits are coming from and where any potential benefit from lottery profits flow to, is this really true? 

Court Sides With Governor Kate Brown Over Early Prison Releases

Two attorneys took particular issue with Brown’s decision to allow 73 people convicted of murder, assault, rape and manslaughter while they were younger than 18 to apply for early release.

Ballot Measure to Overhaul City Government Promises Minority Representation While Facing Controversy

The Portland Charter Commission aims to bring city in line with how other major U.S. cities do local governance. 

White Woman Calls Police on Black Man Standing at His Home

“If you guys have a lease, I’d just like to see the lease,”

NEWS BRIEFS

Jefferson Alumni Invites Community to Block Party

This inaugural event is open to the public and will have tons of entertainment in tow, including a live DJ and music, a rib contest,...

Oregon Approved to Issue an Additional $46 Million in Pandemic EBT Food Assistance to 80,000 Young Children

The additional food benefits will be issued to families’ existing EBT cards in Fall 2022, with the exact dates yet to be...

Free Vaccination Events Provide Required Back-to-School Immunizations

On or before the first day of instruction, all K-12 students in Washington state must be up to date on vaccinations required for...

Merkley, Colleagues Continue Push for Robust Federal Response to Monkeypox Public Health Emergency

“As the country continues to navigate the [monkeypox public health emergency], the United States public health system remains on the...

Washington Ferries to Get $38 Million to Improve Services

Out of the 35 states and three territories receiving federal money for ferries, Washington will get the biggest allocation ...

Cops: Oregon crime ring moved M in catalytic converters

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Police in suburban Portland, Oregon, said Thursday they arrested a crime ring leader responsible for trafficking more than 44,000 catalytic converters stolen from vehicles on the West Coast since 2021. Detectives said they identified Brennan Doyle, 32, as the...

Seattle hospital to refuse some patients due to capacity

SEATTLE (AP) — Harborview Medical Center in Seattle will temporarily stop accepting less acute patients and will divert them to other health care systems as capacity challenges worsen, according to the hospital’s CEO. “All hospital systems (are) very much over capacity with very...

OPINION

No One Ever Told You About Black August?

Black America lives in a series of deserts. Many of us live in food deserts, financial deserts, employment deserts, and most of us live in information deserts. ...

Betsy Johnson Fails to Condemn Confederate Flags at Her Rally

The majority of Oregonians, including our rural communities, value inclusion and unity, not racism and bigotry. ...

Monkeypox, Covid, and Your Vote

We must start a voter registration drive right here where we live. This effort must become as important to us as putting food on the table and a roof over our heads. ...

Speaking of Reparations

To many Americans, “reparations” is a dirty word when applied to Black folks. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Cuomo: Taxpayers should pay sexual harassment legal bills

NEW YORK (AP) — Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants taxpayers to foot his legal bills as he defends himself against a workplace sexual harassment claim — and he's suing the state's attorney general over it. Cuomo filed the suit against Attorney General Letitia James on...

Judge sends Wisconsin man to institution in hate crime crash

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin judge committed a man accused of targeting a motorcyclist in a fatal crash because of the victim's race to life in a mental institution Thursday. Daniel Navarro, a 27-year-old Mexican American from Fond du Lac, was convicted Wednesday of...

ReAwaken Tour host says he feels harassed by NY prosecutor

BATAVIA, N.Y. (AP) — A Christian pastor in western New York said he felt intimidated and harassed after the state's attorney general, a Democrat, sent a letter saying she believed a planned far-right political event at his church this week could lead to racial violence. In the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Novel inspired by Shirley Jackson classic expected in 2023

NEW YORK (AP) — The family of the late Shirley Jackson has authorized a novel inspired by her classic “The Haunting of Hill House.” Elizabeth Hand's "A Haunting on the Hill” is scheduled to come out in fall 2023. It’s the first time Jackson’s estate has approved an...

Metallica, Mariah Carey headline Global Citizen NYC concert

NEW YORK (AP) — Metallica, Mariah Carey and The Jonas Brothers will headline a free concert in New York’s Central Park next month marking the 10th anniversary of the Global Citizen Festival organized by the international nonprofit fighting extreme poverty. The Sept. 24 event will...

Bream selected as Fox Sunday host; Wallace gets CNN show

NEW YORK (AP) — Shannon Bream, a Fox News Channel veteran who is the network's chief legal correspondent, is the new anchor of the “Fox News Sunday” political talk show, filling a role left vacant when Chris Wallace left last December. Meanwhile, CNN said Thursday that Wallace's...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Beto O'Rourke responds to heckler over Uvalde with expletive

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Democrat Beto O'Rourke responded to a heckler at a campaign stop with an expletive after...

Russia struggles to replenish its troops in Ukraine

The prisoners at the penal colony in St. Petersburg were expecting a visit by officials, thinking it would be some...

Fetterman plans 'raw' remarks in return to PA Senate race

ERIE, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman is expected to open up about his personal health...

Greece asks Turkey to help migrants reported stuck on islet

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — Greece on Thursday asked neighboring Turkey to help about 40 migrants, some urgently...

Initial dives in collapsed Mexican mine unsuccessful

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Rescue divers' first attempts to reach 10 miners trapped inside a flooded coal mine since...

African wildlife parks face climate, infrastructure threats

MOMBASA, Kenya (AP) — Africa's national parks, home to thousands of wildlife species such as lions, elephants...

Anna Challet New America Media

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While poverty remains at historically high levels, the percentage of people in the United States – especially children – who lack health insurance is declining, according to new data released by the Census Bureau.

"The big changes are in health insurance," said David S. Johnson, the chief of the Social, Economic, and Housing Statistics Division of the Census Bureau, in a teleconference last week presenting the agency's most recent findings on poverty and health insurance. He said that the drop in the number of people who are uninsured is the "most significant change" from 2011 to 2012.

Johnson attributed the change to an increase in coverage by public health insurance programs, including both Medicaid and Medicare. Nearly one in three people in the United States now relies on government programs for coverage. The rate has increased every year for the past six years.

The poverty rate remains 15 percent nationally, or over 46 million people – the same number as in 2011, and up from 37 million in 2007 (the year before the recession began). For children, the rate is higher, at 21.8 percent. African American and Latino children fare the worst, with poverty rates of 37.9 and 33.8 percent, respectively.

People living in poverty are defined as those whose household income is below the federal poverty level; in 2012, the FPL was just over $23,000 a year for a family of four.

"The child poverty rate in our country is still so painfully high. One in five children is living in poverty," says Dinah Wiley, a senior research fellow at the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute's Center for Children and Families. "The good news is that more children have health insurance in 2012 than in 2011."

The rate of children who are uninsured fell from 9.4 percent in 2011 to 8.9 percent in 2012, which represents about 400,000 children gaining insurance.

For children living in poverty, the rate of those who are uninsured is 12.9 percent, as opposed to 7.7 percent for those living above the poverty level.

The percentage of the general population that lacks health insurance dropped for the second consecutive year, from 15.7 percent to 15.4 percent, or from 48.6 million people to 48 million people.

Wiley says "it's a shame" that many of the remaining uninsured children nationwide are actually eligible for public programs like Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

A study released last week, conducted by the Urban Institute for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, found that as of 2011, 4 million children were eligible for public health insurance programs but not enrolled.

While that number represents a decline from nearly 5 million, which occurred between 2008 and 2011, over a third of the remaining 4 million who are eligible but not enrolled live in just three states – California, Texas, and Florida.

Wiley says that states with high numbers of uninsured children need to "put out the welcome mat" in terms of their public health insurance programs, and that "outreach and simplification of the enrollment process" are the main strategies for doing so.

Additionally, she says that one of the most important measures states can take to increase the rate of children and families who are insured is to accept the federal dollars being offered to expand Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act. Texas and Florida have both rejected Medicaid expansion.

Kelly Hardy, Director of Health Policy at Children Now in California, attributes the decrease in the rate of uninsured children to greater efforts within the context of the Affordable Care Act to enroll and retain children in coverage.

Hardy points out that in California, when the transition of children out of the Healthy Families Program (California's CHIP, which is being eliminated) and into the Medi-Cal program is complete at the end of this year, nearly one in two children in the state will be enrolled in Medi-Cal.

She agrees with Wiley that there's more work to be done in closing the coverage gap for kids. She notes, as Wiley does, that children are more likely to be insured if their parents are insured, and is optimistic because more adults will be required to enroll in coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

"I'm hopeful that as we reach October 1 [the start of open enrollment] and January 1 [when coverage under the ACA begins], there will be even more positive buzz around health care and that more parents will be enrolled, which means more children will be enrolled," she says.

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