How the current minimum wage hurts kids

by Aoarna Jonnal

08.02.17   This month school resumes for many kids. I remember spending those bittersweet late summer days gathering school supplies and clothes. My family couldn't afford luxury items, but we always had what we needed. Many of my classmates fared very differently. I was regularly asked for paper, pencils and lunch money by kids for whom these essentials were luxuries. The kids from the poorer neighborhoods struggled through a myriad of obstacles that effectively guaranteed academic failure. They came to … Continue Reading

DeVos drops plan to overhaul student loan servicing

by Michael Stratford

08.01.17   Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday abandoned her plan to overhaul how the federal government collects payments from the nation's more than 42 million student loan borrowers after it faced growing resistance from congressional Republicans and Democrats. The Trump administration announced that it was scrapping plans to award a massive contract to a single company to manage the monthly payments of all student loan borrowers, and said it would come up with a new proposal aimed at improving … Continue Reading

Trump could sabotage health care. What California should do to protect its residents.

by The Editorial Board

07.31.17   Now that the Obamacare repeal has crashed and burned in the U.S. Senate, this is what would happen if we had a president who knew how to govern and a Congress that could work together: There would be a bipartisan summit to come up with ways to fix and strengthen the Affordable Care Act to slow rising premiums and create more competition in California and across the country. Unfortunately for all of us, that's not what we have in Washington, D.C. Instead, President Donald Trump declared that h… Continue Reading

Trump's threat to cut Obamacare funding could cause Iowa premiums to spike even more

by Tony Leys

07.31.17   Iowans who buy their own health insurance could face even bigger premium increases next year if President Donald Trump follows through with a threat to cut off a major stream of Obamacare assistance, the state's sole remaining carrier said Monday. Iowa's health-insurance market is already teetering, with just one carrier planning to sell individual policies here next year. That carrier, Medica, has proposed raising Iowa premiums by 43 percent in order to keep up with fast-rising costs of caring… Continue Reading

‘Millennial Bill’ Could Help At-Risk Youth Secure Jobs

by Donna Owens

07.29.17   WASHINGTON - Taj Jackson dreamed of college after graduating from a Maryland high school in 2014, but didn't think his family-headed by a single mother who worked multiple jobs-could afford it. Then they both learned about a national nonprofit called `Year Up.' It provides young adults in urban communities with skills training, work experience, educational opportunities and mentoring, aimed at helping them achieve professional careers within a year. "We learned soft skills like email etiquette… Continue Reading

Senate Republicans Don't Know What Health Care Bill They're About To Vote For. That's Nuts.

by Jeffrey Young

07.24.17   The long, halting slog toward Obamacare repeal is set to reach a significant milestone Tuesday, when the Senate is scheduled to vote on ... something. No, not "something terrific," as President Donald Trump promised on the campaign trail. Just ... something. The American public will find out what that something is at about the same time as the Republican senators who Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wants to amble down to the well of the Senate, raise their index fingers and say, "Ye… Continue Reading

Dublin 6-year-old weighs in on DC’s health care battle

by Jessica Wehrman

07.17.17   Lobbyists for the health care bill are everywhere on Capitol Hill these days. On Wednesday, one of the littlest lobbyists - 6-year-old Noble Lett of Dublin - had his say. 00:19 / 00:36 Dispatch - Daily Highlights Noble, a first-grader at Olde Sawmill Elementary School, was born with Prader-Willi Syndrome, a genetic disorder that can cause a host of medical and developmental issues. But bec… Continue Reading

Iowa family fights for Medicaid for daughter

by Vanessa Miller

07.16.17   On the same day U.S. senators plan to release a revised version of their proposed health care bill, one Iowa family and physician will make their case to lawmakers - through the eyes of a little girl - for threatened Medicaid funding. Center Point residents Kevin and Heidi Schmidt, along with their nine-year-old, Ellie, on Thursday are scheduled to meet with Iowa Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley and U.S. Rep. Rod Blum as part of a national push to address pediatric health care needs through … Continue Reading

Medicaid cuts are a matter of life or death for people with disabilities

by Asim Dietrich

07.13.17   Like thousands of Arizonans, I am a person with a disability. I was born with muscular dystrophy, I use a power wheelchair for mobility, and a ventilator to breathe. I am dependent on caregivers. Even with such a severe disability, I live a full life. I am an attorney who works on behalf of others with disabilities, I am a board member at a local disability advocacy organization called Ability 360, and I have an active social life. The only reason I am able to have such a full life is Medic… Continue Reading

GF man with cerebral palsy: 'I would have nothing' without ACA insurance

by Andrew Haffner

07.13.17   Anthony Arnold, 40, has a UND Fighting Sioux tattoo and a power wheelchair that costs more than some cars. Arnold has cerebral palsy, a condition he was born with and which has greatly limited his physical development. He speaks with the help of a communication device attached to his chair and, on Thursday evening, used his keyboard to read a speech he'd written for a rally against the ongoing GOP campaign to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, a move Arnold and the others gathered … Continue Reading

Newton teen has beaten odds thanks to help GOP may end

by Lindsay Kalter

07.13.17   Newton teen Tom Geraci was born four months premature, weighing in at 1 lb., 5 oz. with legs the size of his mother's pinky fingers. Yesterday - 14 years later - Tom met with lawmakers in D.C. to try to save the Medicaid coverage that helped hold his fragile body together, coverage that could be threatened if the GOP health care bill passes. "I'm hoping to make America great again for kids," Tom said. "We want to make America's kids have great health care again." Tom, who is legally blind an… Continue Reading

11-year-old from South Carolina lobbies for Medicaid on Capitol Hill

by Caitlin Byrd

07.13.17   Tymia McCullough showed up on the steps of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning wearing her Miss South Carolina pre-teen tiara and sash. The crown gives her superpowers, she said. Having her mom speak first, though, gives her courage. The 11-year-old from Georgetown went to Washington this week to do what many people far older than her have done: Lobby Congress. Between meetings with South Carolina lawmakers, Tymia turned to her mother. "Mom," she asked, "if I keep talking to all these cong… Continue Reading

This boy’s care costs up to $15,000 a month. Will the GOP’s health plan cover it?

by Barbara Anderson

07.12.17   James McLelland sits at the kitchen counter, a pile of plastic dinosaur bones spread in front of him, and chooses a saber tooth tiger - missing a tooth - to dip in a gooey substance. It's messy, but a good activity to keep James, 6, busy while his mother, Jenny McLelland of Clovis, talks about the Senate health care bill that she worries could upend a system that helps keep her son alive. James has a rare form of dwarfism that is identified by three multisyllable medical words. The genetic dis… Continue Reading

Trump supporter: Republican health plan 'terrifies me'

by Eric Barlow

07.12.17   I am a Republican, and I voted for President Trump. I voted for leaders who, I thought, would make a serious, bipartisan effort to fix the problems with Obamacare. Instead, senators have been cutting deals in secret and refusing to hear testimony from doctors and other experts. Those of us whose lives will be affected are being kept in the dark. In May the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed the American Health Care Act, a bill which will repeal Obamacare and change the way Medicaid … Continue Reading

Denmark family puts face on Medicaid debate

by Shelby Le Duc

07.12.17   Watching 6-year-old Steve Warpinski play T-ball, you'd never guess that just three years ago he was heading into an operating room for his third open heart surgery. He was born in September 2010 with five congenital heart defects. Doctors discovered the life-threatening conditions 20 weeks into his mother Molly Warpinski's pregnancy and immediately referred her to specialists at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. "Our biggest concern was the fear of the unknown," she said. "We ne… Continue Reading

'It's frightening': the parents of a child with disabilities describe their fear of Medicaid cuts

by Eulimar Núñez

07.11.17   Jason Stein has a bruise on his forehead that won't go away. A severe intellectual disorder causes him to hit himself for no apparent reason, with his hand, or against the floor or the wall. He has to wear a helmet when he goes out on the street: leaving his comfort zone causes even more stress. His parents take turns being with him at all times. At nine-years-old and weighing 70 pounds, Jason cannot fend for himself. He can barely walk a few consecutive steps, and uses a wheelchair when out of… Continue Reading

The Senate Health Care Charade

by The Editorial Board

07.10.17   It is tempting to think that the Republican health care proposal, which would do so much damage to so many Americans, will collapse in the Senate, since conservatives and centrists alike have come out against it. But that would be premature. After all, House leaders managed to cobble together a narrow majority for their bill after similar protests in that chamber. At least some of the Senate opposition to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's opening bid in the health care wars is mere political th… Continue Reading

Senator hears from families who need Medicaid to survive

by John Latimer

07.10.17   Gwen Wenger doesn't know how she and her family would survive without the Medicaid benefits that cover tens of thousands of dollars in medical expenses each year for her severely mentally and physically disabled daughter. Emma, 14, has a rare seizure disorder and has been confined to a wheelchair. She was in a crib to sleep at night until she was 10, and then was able to get a special bed through Medicaid. "It has left Emma globally delayed," said Wenger. "She doesn't walk or talk and she has … Continue Reading

Fighting for daughter, NC pastor walking to DC

by Heather Waliga

07.10.17   A North Carolina pastor is walking hundreds of miles to the nation's capital to keep his seriously ill daughter alive. James Brigman is protesting cuts to Medicaid as lawmakers debate how to repeal and replace Obamacare.He began his journey Friday morning from Rockingham and arrived in downtown Raleigh on Monday afternoon to a cheering crowd. His 9-year-old daughter, Lauren Faith, and his wife arrived right behind him. "She can't stand up, she can't speak. All she can do is inspire peop… Continue Reading

Maine Family Will Visit D.C. To Fight For Medicaid

by Ashley Bailey, Asma Khalid

07.10.17   Congress has returned from its July recess and continues to debate health care. It is uncertain if Senate Republicans will have the support they need to pass their health care bill. Some senators think it goes too far, while others think it doesn't go far enough to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The current bill could deeply impact Medicaid, a government health insurance program for the poor and disabled, cutting $772 billion over the next decade, according to the Congressional … Continue Reading

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