06-19-2018  1:31 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

CareOregon Awards $250,000 for Housing Projects

Recipients include Rogue Retreat, Bridges to Change, Luke Dorf, Transition Projects and Bridge Meadows ...

The Honorable Willie L. Brown to Receive NAACP Spingarn Medal

The award recognizes Brown’s lifelong commitment to the community, equality and civil rights ...

Watching Oprah: The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture

New Smithsonian exhibit looks at how Oprah Winfrey shaped American culture and vice versa ...

Prosecutor: Oregon man justified in shooting near hotel

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A heavy equipment operator was legally justified when he shot and wounded a knife-wielding man last month outside an Oregon hotel, a prosecutor said Monday.However, Robert Garris was foolish to appoint himself "sheriff of the Days Inn" and initiate a confrontation with the...

Some forest trails remain closed long after 2017 wildfire

IDANHA, Ore. (AP) — Some trails in Oregon's Willamette National Forest remain closed because of damage from a wildfire that scorched the area last year.The Whitewater Trail into the Jefferson Park area remains closed. Other trails, including some in the Fall Creek area near Eugene, also are...

Spokane man convicted in 2015 deadly shooting

MOSES LAKE, Wash. (AP) — A Spokane man has been convicted of killing a Moses Lake teenager during a 2015 robbery attempt.The Columbia Basin Herald reports Jeremiah Smith was found guilty of first-degree murder, first-degree burglary, first-degree assault and first-degree unlawful possession...

Police seize 2,500 marijuana plants from 6 Tacoma homes

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say eight people have been arrested after police searched six Tacoma houses connected to an illegal marijuana growing operation.The News Tribune reports authorities seized at least 2,500 marijuana plants from the properties that police searched Monday...

OPINION

What Happened? Assessing the Singapore Summit

For all its weaknesses, we are better off having had the summit than not ...

Redlining Settlement Fails to Provide Strong Penalties

A recent settlement of a federal redlining lawsuit is yet another sign that justice is still being denied ...

5 Lessons on Peace I Learned from My Cat Soleil

Dr. Jasmine Streeter takes some cues on comfort from her cat ...

Research Suggests Suicides By Racial and Ethnic Minorities are Undercounted

Sociologist Dr. Kimya Dennis describes barriers to culturally-specific suicide research and treatment ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Border separations ripple through midterm campaigns

Wrenching scenes of migrant children being separated from their parents at the southern border are roiling campaigns ahead of midterm elections, emboldening Democrats on the often-fraught issue of immigration while forcing an increasing number of Republicans to break from President Donald Trump on...

City where many slaves entered US to apologize for slavery

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina city where almost half of all the slaves brought to the United States first set foot on American soil is ready to apologize for its role in the slave trade.The resolution expected to be passed by the Charleston City Council on Tuesday offers a...

School honoring Confederate general to be renamed for Obama

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Virginia city is rebranding its only school named after a Confederate general to honor the United States' first black president.The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the Richmond School Board voted 6-1 Monday to rename J.E.B. Stuart Elementary School to Barack Obama...

ENTERTAINMENT

List of winners from the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — Winners of the MTV Movie & TV Awards, presented Saturday at Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, California:Movie of the year: "Black Panther"Actor in a Movie: Chadwick Boseman, "Black Panther"Show of the Year: "Stranger Things"Actor in a Show: Millie Bobby Brown,...

In 'Jurassic World,' a dino-sized animal-rights parable

NEW YORK (AP) — The dinosaurs of "Jurassic Park" are many things. They are special-effects wonders. They are unruly house guests. And they are some of the biggest, most foot-stomping metaphors around.Since Steven Spielberg's 1993 original, the dinos of "Jurassic Park" — many of them...

Immigration detention policy becomes major issue in media

NEW YORK (AP) — In a phone conversation with her executive producer over the weekend, "CBS This Morning" anchor Gayle King wondered if there wasn't more the network could do on the story of children being separated from parents through the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

On a big night for 'Panther,' Boseman honors real-life hero

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — The MTV Movie & TV Awards gave "Black Panther" its first taste of awards...

US could back 1st pot-derived medicine, and some are worried

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A British pharmaceutical company is getting closer to a decision on whether...

Looking for signs of global warming? It's all around you

GOTHIC, Colo. (AP) — David Inouye is an accidental climate scientist.More than 40 years ago, the University...

Engine catches fire on plane with Saudi WCup team, none hurt

MOSCOW (AP) — Officials say an engine of a Russian plane carrying the Saudi Arabian soccer team to a World...

3 men die of 6 wounded in southern Sweden drive-by shooting

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Three of the six men who were injured in a drive-by shooting in the center of...

In Mexico, longtime foes 'AMLO' and elite getting pragmatic

MEXICO CITY (AP) — On the campaign trail, presidential front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has railed...

Anna Challet New America Media

Click to see full-size graphic

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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