Archives

A new report from by analyst Laila Bell at the group Action for Children NC entitled “Healthy Women, Healthy Babies,” puts the decision of the Governor and General Assembly not to expand Medicaid into pretty sharp relief. Its common sense conclusion: expanding Medicaid to cover hundreds of thousands of low-income North Carolinians as is made possible by the Affordable Care Act would, literally, save the lives of a lot of infants born to poor moms.

Here are the key findings:

  • Healthy infancy and childhood begin with healthy mothers; women’s health before, during and between pregnancies is a strong predictor of the survival and long?term health of their newborns.
  • Maternal risk factors associated with infant mortality can be prevented or effectively managed with appropriate preventive care.
  • In 2010, North Carolina’s infant mortality rate hit a record low, but has since increased by 6 percent over the past two years. Most of the increase occurred among African American babies.
  • North Carolina has the opportunity to counteract rising infant mortality rates and reduce racial disparities in birth outcomes through Medicaid expansion. Under the Affordable Care Act, an estimated 500,000 North Carolinians—including 178,000 low-income women of childbearing age—would gain access to health insurance coverage.

Read the entire report by clicking here.

This was just released by the good folks at the Covenant with North Carolina’s Children:

For Immediate Release                                                                                                 

Juvenile Justice consolidation could have negative consequences for youth

RALEIGH – On Tuesday, 9/10, the Department of Public Safety announced the consolidation of the Divisions of Juvenile Justice and Adult Corrections into a single division, raising questions about the Department’s ability to focus on the unique needs of youth. Read More

North Carolina has dropped one place since last year to rank 35th in the nation according to an annual KIDS COUNT data report about the overall well-being of children in the United States. This data report determines and ranks states on the basis of performance in sixteen level indicators across four domains; economic well-being, family and community, health, and education.

North Carolina’s drop to the 35th spot largely results from the state’s lackluster performance in improving its economic well-being. Currently, North Carolina is ranked 38th in the nation for economic well-being, three spots below last year’s ranking. This data report breaks down economic well-being into four categories, each of which North Carolina failed to show any progress. The KIDS COUNT State Profile for North Carolina reports that twenty-six percent of children are impoverished and thirty-four percent of parents lack secure employment in this state alone. Accordingly, in North Carolina, the amount of children living in households with high housing burden costs has seen a four percent increase since 2005, and ten percent of teens are currently not working or in school.

In comparison to last year’s report, Read More

From crack child advocate Rob Thompson at the Covenant with North Carolina’s Children:

House members introduce bipartisan school safety bill
Bill includes needed funding for mental health support staff

RALEIGH – Representatives Glazier (D), Faircloth (R), Holloway (R) and Lucas (D) introduced legislation (H452) Wednesday aimed at making North Carolina schools safer and preventing tragedies like Newtown. Specifically, the bill provides funding for local school districts to add School Resource Officers (SROs) and support staff, including school counselors, social workers and psychologists. The bill also requires school districts to take specific steps to respond effectively to a future crisis.

“This legislation provides what resource-starved school districts need more than anything – money for staff,” stated Rob Thompson, Executive Director of the Covenant with North Carolina’s Children. “We’re particularly pleased to see legislators take concrete steps to address the mental health issues that are at the root of school violence.”

The bill allocates $5 million Read More

So you know the right-wing-talk radio-NC General Assembly leadership talking point  by now: “Unemployed North Carolinians don’t need unemployment insurance or other safety net programs; they just need to get out there and get a job! If people would just suck it up like people did in the good ol’ days, we wouldn’t have 9% unemployment in this state.”

There are so many offensive and absurd implications of this “argument” that it’s hard to know where to begin in responding to it. One obvious place, however, is this:

What about the kids?

How does a person with young children at home go about taking on just any low-wage, hamburger-flipping job? Amazing as it many seem to folks on Right-Wing Avenue, not every parent of young children has a grandparent hanging around waiting to help raise their kids for free. These people need affordable child care.

Sadly, this obvious truth that long ago dawned on the leaders of most of the world’s industrialized nations still escapes the corporate conservatives who dominate American government. For a case in point, check out NC Policy Watch reporter Sarah Ovaska’s story this morning over on the main PW site.  As Sarah reports, Read More