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Affordable, Quality Health Care for All

Expanding Access to Dental Care

State Sen. Ray Cleary, a South Carolina Republican, has proposed S.286 to create a free dental screening program for schoolchildren in at least 3 of the state's poorest counties - where children are most likely to go without regular dental care. Sen. Cleary, a dentist himself, wants to combat the adverse effects that poor dental health has on a child's education, including the inability to focus while in school because of pain and missed school days. According to the Pew Center on the States, tooth decay is the most common childhood disease, affecting 60% of all children and causing kids across the country to miss 51 million hours of school time each year.

Washington State Health Care Campaign Highlights Continuing State Action on Reform

This week, the Washington State Senate's health committee approved a bill to achieve health-care-for-all by 2012.  Sponsored by committee Chair Sen. Karen KeiserSB 5945 as amended combines immediate steps to expand access to coverage and cut administrative costs with a planning process to refine proposals for comprehensive reform by 2012.  This action came as the Seattle City Council and Seattle Post-Intelligencer endorsed national single-payer health care, emphasizing the continuing efforts in states to move forward health care reform.

NH State Rep introduces bill to cut small business health costs, give employers more options

Concord - Rep. Jill Shaffer Hammond (D-Hills. Dist. 3) today introduced an innovative bill that would allow small businesses, non-profits, and their employees to purchase health insurance through the state employee health plan.  HB617 would help tens of thousands of New Hampshire residents and small employers by increasing their options in the insurance market.  The bill could reduce health insurance costs for business owners and employees who take advantage of the option to join the state employee plan.

A Simple Approach for Expanding Eligibility to Health Insurance

In New York State, 31% of uninsured residents are young adults between the ages 19 and 29. To help this population and reduce the state's uninsured rolls, Governor Paterson wants to require private employers to offer health insurance to workers' dependents who are between the ages 19 and 29.

Health Care for All: Policy Options for 2009

Download a copy of the report in PDF format here.  View the HTML version of the report here.

While US Olympians Excel, US Health Care Under-performs

US athletes are now showing their mettle, competing against the world in the Beijing Summer Olympics.  Since the modern summer Olympics began in 1896, the US has been a force; consistently fielding a dominant cadre of athletes and ranking first, or among the top, in the overall medal count. In the spirit of competition and international comparison, this Stateside Dispatch will look at how well our health care system stacks up against our peers in the international community.

OVERVIEW

Since 2003, at least three states - Maine, Vermont, and Massachusetts - and the city of San Francisco have enacted legislation with the express goal of ensuring all residents have access to health care coverage.  All of these initiatives, particularly those in Maine and Vermont, pursue a comprehensive approach to reform - addressing cost, quality, and access. These efforts have spurred action in other states, where lawmakers in Colorado, Washington, New York, Wisconsin, and elsewhere learn from and build on the experience of early leaders.  This section discusses priorities for comprehensive reform, the road to reform, and model initiatives in key states, specifically Wisconsin.

 

Mass. Health Care Reform One-Year Later: Clear Successes and Challenges Emerge

One year after implementation, Massachusetts new health care law has dramatically reduced its rate of the uninsured by half, increasing coverage in both the public and private sectors for 355,000 previously uninsured residents, a new Urban Institute study published in Health Affairs shows.  The state has improved access to coverage but rising costs are a key challenge as the state moves forward.