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National News

  • The New York Times, August 25, 2014: Generation Later, Poor Are Still Rare at Elite Colleges
    "A series of federal surveys of selective colleges found virtually no change from the 1990s to 2012 in enrollment of students who are less well off — less than 15 percent by some measures — even though there was a huge increase over that time in the number of such students going to college. Similar studies looking at a narrower range of top wealthy universities back those findings. With race-based affirmative action losing both judicial and public support, many have urged selective colleges to shift more focus to economic diversity."
  • Los Angeles Times, August 25, 2014: L.A. accuses Glendale Adventist of patient dumping on skid row
    “Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer has filed a lawsuit accusing Glendale Adventist Medical Center of dumping mentally ill and disabled homeless patients on L.A.'s skid row over the last four years. The six-page complaint, filed Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, said the hospital improperly transported elderly and dependent patients to the downtown Los Angeles neighborhood, a 50-block area ‘known for extreme poverty, homelessness, rampant sale and use of illegal drugs and violent crime.’”
  • The Washington Times, August 25, 2014: Medicaid payment woes plague Idaho mental health service providers
    “The state's effort to rein in Medicaid costs has created deep friction between small businesses that deliver behavioral-health services to Medicaid patients and a new contractor hired to manage them. Service providers across Idaho have raised complaints over the last 11 months that the contractor, Optum Idaho, a unit of United Behavioral Health, has created red tape and cut services needed by at-risk patients. Now providers in the Treasure Valley have raised another complaint: Optum isn't paying them promptly, putting their businesses' survival and employees' jobs at risk. Optum says it has fixed a glitch that resulted in tiny claims payments to the companies, which provide counseling and other behavioral health services to low-income and disabled adults and children on Medicaid.”
  • The Boston Herald, August 25, 2014: (Op-Ed) Obama's team creates crisis after crisis
    “A potentially game-ending crisis for our nation is the growing number of people dependent on welfare - now at epidemic levels. The Census Bureau reports that in 2012, nearly 110 million Americans lived in a household that received some sort of means-tested aid. A whopping 35 percent of our population is on welfare. These figures don't include Social Security, Medicare, unemployment or veterans benefits. It does include 82 million people on Medicaid, with an additional 9 million expected to enroll this year due to Obamacare. In 2000, there were only 17 million people with EBT cards. That's up to 51 million now - 300 percent larger. Then there are 22 million on WIC; 13 million in public housing; 20 million on supplemental security income; 5 million on temporary assistance for needy families; and 4 million with other forms of tax-funded assistance.”
  • Ventura County Star, August 25, 2014: (Editorial) City’s support may help agency serve the needy
    “The Samaritan Center, the Simi Valley-based nonprofit organization that works to prevent and end homelessness, could close its doors — at least temporarily, and perhaps permanently — unless a short-term fundraising effort succeeds by Sept. 1. The center provides an array of valuable services to the needy in the community. Thus we applaud Simi Valley city leaders for responding quickly to this problem and putting it on the agenda for the City Council meeting Monday evening. City officials say they’ve been looking for funds that could be provided to help the Samaritan Center overcome its funding shortfall, estimated at $60,000 for the agency to continue operating through the rest of this year. Pledges from members of the community reportedly have reached the halfway point of the needed sum in just the last few days.”
  • Investor’s Business Daily, August 25, 2014: Government Dependency In U.S. Nears The Tipping Point
    “New data on federal public assistance programs show we've reached an ignominious milestone: More than 100 million Americans are getting some form of ‘means-tested" welfare assistance. The Census Bureau found 51 million on food stamps at the end of 2012 and 83 million on Medicaid, with tens of millions of households getting both. Another 4 million were on unemployment insurance. The percentage of American households on welfare has reached 35%. If we include other forms of government assistance such as Medicare and Social Security, almost half of all households are getting a check or other form of government assistance.”
  • The State, August 25, 2014: (Op-Ed) Sheheen’s problem with critiquing Haley? It’s complicated
    “The governor’s TV commercial says she has ‘moved 20,000 from welfare to work.’ But as The State, The Greenville News, The Post and Courier and The Associated Press have reported, while the total number of people the Department of Social Services says it has moved from welfare to work is 24,859, the agency also says that 78 percent of those people stayed off welfare for at least two years. That means 22 percent of them were back on welfare within two years. And that means just 19,390 of them could accurately be said to have been moved from welfare to work. Now, if that were the only problem with the numbers, it wouldn’t be a problem: Saying 20,000 when you mean 19,390 is legitimate rounding. But there’s more. It seems that only 17,000 of the people who moved from welfare to work actually moved from welfare to work. The rest of them were still receiving some form of welfare.”
  • Las Vegas Review-Journal, August 25, 2014: Mobile health clinic provides care to homeless
    “Just steps from the incident, the Touro University Nevada mobile health care clinic was parked — treating the down and out on the street of broken dreams. A few weeks ago, the college started the outreach program to provide medical care to people living on the streets. Students from Touro’s physician assistant studies program get on-the-job training providing basic medical needs. The team treats patients with medical problems that include rashes, colds and spider bites.”
  • The Oklahoman, August 25, 2014: Glitches delay Medicaid enrollment for former foster kids
    “An estimated 2,300 former foster youth - these two examples included - are now eligible to remain on the state's Medicaid program until age 26. Some advocates are worried, however, that not enough former foster children are being enrolled into the program. That change in eligibility is thanks to a provision of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, that expanded the Medicaid program to allow young people who were in foster care when they turned 18 to remain on the state health insurance coverage plan until age 26.”
  • The Asheville Citizen-Times, August 25, 2014: WNC hunger problem on the rise
    “Too many families are struggling to feed themselves in Western North Carolina. That's been known for years. But what sacrifices are families making to find food, and at what cost? A new study mapping hunger across the country shows that more people in Western North Carolina are seeking help from food banks to feed their families today than at the height of the Great Recession four years ago, and some of the trade-offs they're making to afford food are troubling. An estimated 107,600 people in WNC turned to food pantries and meal service programs to feed themselves and their families, according to the new Hunger in America study by relief organization Feeding America. That's a slight increase over the last WNC Hunger in America study, conducted in 2010, which estimated 106,600 people seeking food assistance.”
  • Post and Courier, August 25, 2014: New primary care program may benefit former inmates
    “An estimated 9,000 inmates discharged from the South Carolina corrections system each year may soon benefit from a modified Medicaid program that would address some of their basic health care needs after they leave prison. Officials from the S.C. Department of Health and Human Services and the S.C. Department of Corrections recently discussed enrolling these adults into a new program upon their release called Healthy Connections Checkup, which provides primary care screenings and family-planning benefits for residents whose income falls below 194 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $22,600 a year for a single adult.”
  • The Daily Athenaeum, August 25, 2014: (Op-Ed) Food insecurity hitting hard on college campuses
    “This year, more college students will experience food insecurity - the lack of ability to find or afford nutritious food - than ever before. This trend has much more serious consequences than you may think. A study published in the January 2014 edition of the "Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior" found that nearly 60 percent of students at a midsized university were threatened with food insecurity sometime during the previous year, and that figure is only expected to grow. In fact, college students are four times more likely to experience this concern when compared to all U.S. households, although this problem has received scarcely any attention targeted toward the college demographic.”
  • The Justice, August 25, 2014: (Op-Ed) Alleviate local poverty through voluntary University tax payments
    “Think for a moment what would happen if a wealthy, four-year university suddenly announced its decision to give back to the community around it, and to voluntarily pay even a part of its would-be full tax payments to the city. Think what would happen if that university decided to do this without raising tuition, at least more than the amount by which tuition already rises per year. Think what would happen if the school demanded that the money be used to rebuild and improve poverty-stricken areas.”
  • Winston-Salem Journal, August 25, 2014: (Editorial) We're still facing challenges of poverty and hunger
    “The need for assistance with food is growing across the 18-county area served by the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC, according to a new study produced by Second Harvest and Feeding America, which showed that the organization and its affiliates are currently feeding nearly 300,000 individuals — or one in every six people living in Northwest North Carolina. This is higher than the national average of one in seven. Sixty-two percent of Second Harvest's partner programs report increases in the number of requests for food assistance.”
  • The Dallas Morning News, August 24, 2014: (Editorial) Finding fixes to cure Dallas poverty
    “The problem of poverty in Dallas has been studied for decades, mulled, studied some more, and then re-studied just for good measure. Meanwhile, the problem keeps getting worse. Members of Mayor Mike Rawlings' Task Force on Poverty have, again, studied the problem, but they depart markedly from their predecessors by offering some workable options to help lift the city's poor and potentially reduce the costs borne by more affluent taxpayers.”
  • New York Daily News, August 24, 2014: City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer on his homeless childhood, calls for residents to be part of the solution
    “Of course, the root of homelessness is poverty. And no matter the circumstances that lead a family into poverty, its effects are devastating to all who experience it, particularly children. That is why we are all called to conscience and must not look away from the homeless. They are not strange, helpless people who we'll never know or need to care about. They are us. And in my case, they are me and my family.”
  • Chicago Sun-Times, August 24, 2014: Future of affordable housing unclear after SRO tenant deals
    “But the outcome is more ambiguous for the larger cause of preserving Chicago's dwindling supply of affordable housing, which both buildings represented. As I've been writing for the last couple years now, these SRO buildings are fast disappearing across the city, leaving few options for the people who used to live there. In the case of the Rosemoor Hotel, 1622 W. Jackson, owner Joe Perillo said he will move ahead rapidly with his plans to turn the former ‘flophouse’ into a more upscale extended-stay Hotel Chicago catering to med school students and others needing easy access to the city's near West Side hospitals. Perillo said his building will offer "affordable" rents, just not by the standards of most of the low-income residents who used to live there.”
  • San Francisco Chronicle, August 24, 2014: Medi-Cal has booby trap for estates
    “Many low-income Californians who became eligible for Medi-Cal, the state's version of Medicaid, under the Affordable Care Act were happy to get free health care. But for those 55 and older, it came with a booby trap. When they die, the state will attempt to recover anything it spent on their health care from their estates, including their home. This so-called estate recovery program has been a feature of Medi-Cal for many years, but the act allowed California to expand Medi-Cal coverage to a much larger group of people, including those with low incomes but unlimited assets. Some who are 55-plus are deeply concerned about asset recovery, because the rules are confusing and it's hard to know how much of their estate is at risk.”
  • The Tampa Tribune, August 24, 2014: Head Start gets restart
    “The Head Start program has been around since 1965, but its history in Pinellas County has some gaps. This school year, however, the program is back and hoping to expand. After two years on hiatus, Head Start and Early Head Start are operating in 15 centers throughout the county, with hundreds of children on waiting lists. The federal programs provide education, child care and health services for low-income families.”
  • Stillwater News Press, August 24, 2014: Tulsa mental health advocates will serve entire state
    “MHA Oklahoma, based in Tulsa, is now the state’s most prominent nonprofit to focus on mental health services beyond the local level. The need is great: Oklahoma’s rate of mental illness ranks among the highest in the nation, and funding for health services is limited. In an interview with Oklahoma Watch, Brose discussed the association’s plans for expansion; efforts to help the homeless, teens and veterans, and how to prevent suicide.”
  • Williamson Daily News, August 24, 2014: Mingo school system participating in new free meal project
    “The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently released data reporting high levels of food insecurity and hunger across the country. In West Virginia, nearly 14 percent of residents live in food insecure households and more than 88,500 children live below the poverty line. The CEP was enacted as a result of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act and provides universal meal service to children in high poverty areas. This is the second year for the option. The CEP is an alternative to collecting, approving and verifying household eligibility applications for free and reduced price eligible students in high poverty Local Education Agencies (LEA). If at least 40 percent of a school’s students are directly certified for free meal benefits, the entire school qualifies for the option.”
  • Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, August 24, 2014: (Op-Ed) Treat root causes of homelessness
    “Although all possible solutions for ending homelessness must be on the table, the premise that treating only the symptoms or simply moving the problem without dealing with the root causes is a disservice to those we desire to help. In order to end the cycle of homelessness and poverty permanently, we must engage in the hard work of supportive services and programs, including recovery, transformation, and restoration to productive citizenship, and it must be in agreement with those individuals who need it the most.”
  • Daily Press, August 24, 2014: (Editorial) Local public housing programs must do better to move families toward self-sufficiency
    “The United States still clings to the goal of providing safe, clean and affordable housing to all, but too many recipients view public housing as a generational homestead. That is certainly true in Hampton and Newport News. In these neighboring cities, thousands languish on waiting lists for the chance to receive assistance. It is reasonable to conclude that the pipeline from public housing programs to homeownership and independence is clogged and in desperate need of repair. Because most housing programs rely on federal funding, we must look to Washington for fundamental reform. However, there is much we can do on the local level to expand workforce training, improve financial literacy and help transform these welfare programs into the safety net they were intended to be.”
  • Newark Star-Ledger, August 23, 2014: (Editorial) Trashing the needy, again
    “There's no confusing Gov. Chris Christie with Robin Hood. His administration isn't merely weak in how it treats New Jersey's working poor. It's relentlessly hostile. Since 2010, the governor has rolled back the state's earned-income tax credit — a de facto tax hike on low-income families—while pushing tax cuts for the rich. He vetoed a minimum wage hike. He abandoned efforts to build affordable housing, then tried to grab money set aside for that purpose to balance his budgets.”
  • Boulder Daily Camera, August 23, 2014: Homeless advocates see need for daytime, summer shelter in Boulder
    “Homeless advocates locally and nationally believe an adequate day shelter in Boulder would be a less punitive, more positive approach to reducing the large, visible presence of homeless people in the city's parks and libraries. Eric Tars, an attorney with the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, said such a shelter should be an attractive place with a variety of services where people want to spend time.”
  • Deseret News, August 23, 2014: Transit, health care discussions dominate poverty summit
    “The metropolitan area can have as many buses as there are streets, but if the fares aren't affordable, the transit system isn't working. While Salt Lake City may boast it has top-ranked, quality health care in its stable of state-of-the-art hospitals, the system fails if people can't get treated due to financial hurdles. This paradox that exists for many low-income people dominated the discussion at the 11th annual Poverty Partnership Summit Saturday hosted at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark.”
  • The Spectrum, August 22, 2014: Health community pushes Healthy Utah Plan
    “Utah’s top health official said Thursday he is optimistic about the prospects of gaining federal approval for a state-tailored private expansion of Medicaid, but some strides still need to be made. David Patton, director of the Utah Department of Health, met privately with elected officials and other community leaders during a visit to Washington County, part of a campaign to gather support for Gov. Gary Herbert’s Healthy Utah Plan, proposed as a compromised alternative to a full Medicaid expansion under the Obama Administration’s Affordable Care Act.”
  • Portland Press-Herald, August 22, 2014: (Editorial) Minimum wage is not just gas money for teens
    “Opposition to increasing the minimum wage is often based on a false idea of who gets it. It’s seen as an entry-level pay scale for teenagers who soon make more as they acquire skills. It’s just pocket money for gas and hamburgers, the argument goes, and it needs to stay low so youngsters can get an opportunity to learn about working. While that may have been true in the past, it’s not now. Minimum wage earners are older than before, more likely to be supporting children and the average minimum wage worker brings home half or more of her family’s income.”
  • The Economist, August 21, 2014: To have and have not
    "In Sweden the age of criminal responsibility is 15, so Mr Sariaslan tracked his subjects from the dates of their 15th birthdays onwards, for an average of three-and-a-half years. He found, to no one’s surprise, that teenagers who had grown up in families whose earnings were among the bottom fifth were seven times more likely to be convicted of violent crimes, and twice as likely to be convicted of drug offences, as those whose family incomes were in the top fifth. What did surprise him was that when he looked at families which had started poor and got richer, the younger children—those born into relative affluence—were just as likely to misbehave when they were teenagers as their elder siblings had been. Family income was not, per se, the determining factor."
  • The Hill, August 21, 2014: Dem rep: We are ‘failing’ in the fight against poverty
    Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said that because of House Republicans, Congress is “failing” to address issues affecting the poor. 'Our top priority should be creating jobs and helping workers get back on their feet,' DeLauro said on Wednesday. 'It is time for this Congress to step up and do the right thing.' DeLauro’s comments came as she marked the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson signing the Economic Opportunity Act."
  • The Capital Times, August 21, 2014: (Opinion) So how much food stamp cash goes to Wal-Mart?
    “What might the food stamp information tell us? At a minimum, we would get confirmation that they make up a large part of the sales of some of the country's biggest retailers, such as Wal-Mart Stores. Wal-Mart, the nation's largest grocer, has already acknowledged the importance of food stamps in its latest annual report. It warned that if the program ever experienced large spending cuts — as House Republicans unsuccessfully demanded during much of the past two years — its results could be hurt. Wal-Mart had about $279 billion in U.S. sales last year, about half from groceries.”
  • Kera News, August 21, 2014: In Dallas, Poverty Has Skyrocketed Over The Past Decade
    "Dallas’ poor population has exploded. From 2000 to 2012, the number of poor people in Dallas rose by 41 percent. That far outweighs the city's overall 5 percent population growth during the same period. Mayor Mike Rawlings’ poverty task force has issued a report that shows the startling growth – and outlines suggestions to help reduce poverty rates. The task force says that Dallas has the highest child poverty rate among cities larger than 1 million people: Two of every five kids grow up poor. Dallas has the third-highest overall poverty rate among large cities. More than half of Dallas' poor are Hispanic."
  • The Augustine Record, August 21, 2014: Talks on St. Johns County's homeless move forward
    “Officials want the talks that follow St. Johns County’s Homeless Summit, which was held in July, to create a better system of caring for the homeless. One improvement in services would be better coordination between providers, said Judith Dembowski, executive director of St. Francis House, a homeless shelter in St. Augustine.”
  • The Morning News, August 21, 2014: Sheheen and Haley square off in jobs debate
    “Democratic gubernatorial candidate Vincent Sheheen is alleging that Gov. Nikki Haley and the state Department of Social Services are misleading the public in touting the number of people moving from welfare to jobs. But DSS officials said 24,000 people in welfare programs have received jobs during Haley’s tenure, and a spokesman for Haley countered that Sheheen prefers ‘having people stay on welfare.’ Sheheen also alleged Wednesday that private vendors who have donated to the Haley campaign have been paid $12.5 million in recent years to help find jobs for those on welfare, but that their efforts have resulted in fewer jobs than the agency found without vendor help in prior years.”
  • The Boston Globe, August 20, 2014: Medicaid insurers prod state on funds; Tie costly drug, surge in members to a need for higher payments
    “Buckling from more than $140 million in losses racked up since the start of the year, the companies that contract with the state to insure Medicaid patients are pressing the Patrick administration to boost health payments for low-income residents. The health insurers' losses are tied to a high-cost hepatitis C drug approved by federal regulators last December and a surge of nearly 190,000 new members, many with expensive medical needs, assigned by MassHealth, the state Medicaid program. State funding budgeted for the current year falls far short of covering these costs, the insurers say.”
  • The Los Angeles Times, August 20 2014: (Editorial) Clean skid row's streets, but then house the homeless
    “The organizers of Operation Healthy Streets, a newly revamped version of an existing Los Angeles city program, vow that filthy skid row streets will be scoured every other month (and spot-cleaned in between) and that city and county outreach workers will be dispatched on a more regular basis to help some of the estimated 3,400 homeless people who sleep in that 50-block area on a typical night. Some advocates see this as little more than a ruse to dislodge the homeless and discourage them from returning to the downtown area, which is rapidly gentrifying. City and county officials need to prove them wrong.”
  • The Dallas Morning News, August 20, 2014: (Opinion) Mayor’s Task Force on Poverty nibbles around the edges of a citywide problem
    "Mayor Rawlings’ poverty task force report is a fantastic district by district snapshot of how concentrated poverty is growing in most parts of Dallas. What struck me as most interesting is how concentrated poverty has moved out of West Dallas since 2000 and moved mostly south. What stuck me as most disappointing are the lack of recommendations that are more substantial than dressed up marketing campaigns."
  • The Huffington Post, August 20 2014: (Blog) Congress Should Protect and Not Gamble with Health of Children
    "In analyzing the question of what would happen to the health coverage for millions of children if CHIP were allowed to expire, the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) issued a report in June which 'found that many children now served by the program would not have a smooth transition to another source of coverage' and that the 'number of uninsured children would likely rise.'"
  • Boston Business Journal, August 20, 2014: MassHealth insurers look to state, other markets to solve operating losses
    “Health insurers that cover low-income residents are reacting in different ways to financial struggles brought on by the health care overhaul and expensive drugs, with some turning to new markets while others petition the state for help. Many insurers that cover Medicaid populations, and those that offer the fee-per-member model for Medicaid clients known as ‘Managed Medicaid,’ have seen drastic operating losses in the last several months.”
  • New York Daily News, August 20, 2014: City gives homeless families in Bronx shelter extra time to leave before eviction
    “City officials bought dozens of homeless Bronx families a few more days to relocate from their cluster-site apartments after they were told they had 24 hours to leave the building. Residents of 941 Intervale Ave., run by a controversial homeless service provider, received notice from the Department of Homeless Services Monday to pack their belongings into two plastic bags and to be ready to vacate their apartments by the following day.”
  • Michigan Live, August 20, 2014: Downtown Detroit development offers lessons for displacing low-income residents for market-rate housing
    "The developer behind a project that replaced 127 housing units occupied mostly by low-income seniors with luxury apartments in downtown Detroit said the experience could be used to aid future transitions. More than 100 low-income seniors, many with disabilities, were given in March 2013 one year to vacate 1214 Griswold, as Broder & Sachse Real Estate Services moved forward on plans to convert the Albert Kahn-designed building into luxury apartments known as The Albert."
  • Deseret News, August 20, 2014: Program provides low-income families opportunity to stay connected
    "Marianna Castenada, a junior at East High School, has a 3.6 GPA despite the fact that she has no Internet at home. For the past two years, Marianna and her siblings have vied for time on their mother's smartphone to complete homework assignments and write essays. But the family's situation drastically changed this week thanks to Internet Essentials, a Comcast-funded, nationwide program designed to provide low-income families with Internet and computers at minimal costs."
  • Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, August 20, 2014: Fewer in state filing for U.S. disability aid (Subscription Only)
    “Fewer low-income children and adults are filing for federal disability benefits in Arkansas this year, according to the state's Social Security disability determination agency. Physically or mentally disabled people up to age 64 who have little or no Social Security trust funds are eligible for Supplemental Security Income, SSI. Those approved for the federal program, which is funded through general tax revenue, are automatically enrolled in Medicaid. The 19 percent drop - from 17,497 first-time SSI applications to 14,160 applications from Oct. 1 to Tuesday - is the largest seen by the agency since 2006.”
  • The Washington Times, August 19, 2014: Chris Christie is lone GOP presidential prospect to expand Medicaid
    “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s decision to expand Medicaid under Obamacare puts him alone among Republican governors vying for the 2016 presidential nomination, and could come back to haunt him among primary voters. Some of his potential rivals who are also governors have sought ways to leverage federal money, and others have spurned the Medicaid expansion altogether. Mr. Christie, however, embraced President Obama’s vision of expanding the federal-state health care program for the poor to those with incomes up to 138 percent of the poverty level.”
  • The Messenger-Inquirer, August 19, 2014: Uninsured adults fall in state
    “Kentucky showed one of the largest drops in the percentage of uninsured adults since expanded Medicaid went into effect last January, according to a recent Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index poll. The latest state figures show that 512,000 Kentuckians were newly enrolled in health coverage, with nearly three-fourths of them qualifying under Medicaid expansion that happened as part of the Affordable Care Act. One-fourth purchased private insurance through the state-based marketplace, kynect.”
  • The Sun-Herald, August 19, 2014: Mississippi ranks last in underprivileged children
    “In a recent release, the personal finance social network site noted America has the second-highest rate of relative child poverty among economically developed nations with 16.1 million children considered impoverished. By looking at 16 categories, including infant death rates, children in foster care and child food insecurity rates, the site ranked Mississippi at the bottom. Joining Mississippi in the cellar were District of Columbia, Florida, Arkansas and New Mexico. Neighboring Alabama (44), Louisiana (41) and Tennessee (37) didn't fare much better. The top five states were New Hampshire, Minnesota, New Jersey, Connecticut and Vermont.”
  • The Plain Dealer, August 19, 2014: Food stamp discrimination alleged in civil rights complaint brought against Ohio
    “Advocates for the poor have filed a civil rights complaint against Ohio officials for failing to renew the state's food stamp waiver for all 88 Ohio counties, which resulted in thousands of Ohioans losing the federal benefits. In a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the advocacy groups argued the decision disproportionately hurt minority Ohioans.”
  • The Pitt News, August 19, 2014: What we must do to combat poverty
    “The apparent disparity of income inequality among low- and high-income families in the United States is at an all-time high. Income inequality, or poverty to be exact, is one of the most deprecating issues hindering society and, for decades now, little has been done to reverse the trend. Programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children and Supplemental Security Income are all directed to helping those in need, particularly those troubled by a serious gap in income, resources and education from their wealthier, more adept counterparts."
  • The Miami Herald, August 18, 2014: Pediatricians in Florida could see relief from low Medicaid payments
    “After years of hearings and delays, the possible resolution this fall of a class-action lawsuit against Florida health and child-welfare officials could mean that physicians will at last receive what they consider to be adequate compensation for treating children of the poor. The lawsuit, filed in 2005 by pediatricians, dentists and nine children against the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Department of Children and Families and the Department of Health, claimed that Florida violated federal law by providing inadequate Medicaid services to children, and that their care had been hampered by low Medicaid payments to doctors. A federal judge is expected to rule on the case in October.”
  • The Huffington Post, August 18, 2014: The Percentage Of Americans Who Can't Afford Food Hasn't Budged Since The Recession Peaked
    "More than five years into an economic recovery, with unemployment falling and the stock market at record highs, millions of Americans like Taormina still can't afford basic nutrition, according to a blockbuster study released Monday by the relief charity Feeding America. The 160-page report, titled Hunger in America 2014, claims to be the largest, most comprehensive study of hunger in the U.S. ever conducted. It took four years to produce and involved interviews with 60,000 people whose households are served by the charity."
  • The Coloradoan, August 18, 2014: Survey glimpses faces of Fort Collins' homeless population
    “Fort Collins' homeless population seems to be growing, at least seasonally, but a recent survey shows just how diverse the population is. The survey, completed by Homeward 2020, showed a nearly 150-person increase in homeless individuals from January to June. While officials are unsure about what's causing that growth, they say reducing the area's homeless population will require a targeted approach to the myriad groups that make up the 438 surveyed homeless individuals. The survey measured the Fort Collins homeless population during a specific two-day period in June, and participation was optional. But the results offer a glimpse at some of the key groups that make up the whole.”
  • The Bakersfield Californian, August 18, 2014: Apartments for homeless veterans a first
    “Local officials broke ground downtown Monday on a 56-unit low-income apartment complex largely aimed at housing homeless veterans, calling it Bakersfield's first new facility built for that purpose. The Park 20th at 400 20th St. east of Mill Creek Linear Park, an $11 million build, is one of five low- and moderate-income housing projects Bakersfield committed to build in downtown when it accepted $10.8 million in state Proposition 1C funds. Unlike the others, 45 percent of its housing, or 25 units, is earmarked specifically for homeless veterans, using Veterans Administration housing vouchers to pay as much as 100 percent of their rent.”
  • The Washington Post, August 17, 2014: Hospitals reassess charity as Obamacare options become available
    “As more Americans gain insurance under the federal health law, hospitals are rethinking their charity programs, with some scaling back help for those who could have signed up for coverage but didn't. The move is prompted by concerns that offering free or discounted care to low-income, uninsured patients might dissuade them from getting government-subsidized coverage. It also reflects hospitals' strong financial interest in having more patients covered by insurance as the federal government makes big cuts in funding for uncompensated care.”
  • The Desert Sun, August 17, 2014: Collaboration is crucial in the war on poverty
    “When President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the War of Poverty, or the Economic Opportunity Act, on Aug. 20, 1964, he encouraged a cooperative approach to addressing and solving the nation's poverty crisis. But 50 years after that declaration, the numbers are more troubling than ever. Unadjusted poverty rates are higher today than they were when the War on Poverty began. According to the Southern California Association of Governments, the number of people residing in SCAG's six-county region who are living in poverty has grown from 1.8 million to 3.2 million. A far more disturbing statistic shows that today 25 percent of the region's children live in poverty.”
  • The Greenville News, August 17, 2014: (Opinion) Address the needs of our state’s children
    “Gov. Nikki Haley's education reform plan expanded funding and improved critical focus on reading in early grades. This is a step in the right direction for South Carolina's children, but there is more we can do. Our state sits at 45th in the nation for child well-being because 57 percent of South Carolina children are not attending preschool, 27 percent live in poverty and 36 percent of parents lack secure employment. Many of these same children are also involved in child welfare services in South Carolina.”
  • The Journal News, August 17, 2014: (Opinion) Income inequality creates a 'deficit of opportunity'
    “As the gap between the wealthy and the poor in America widens, some policy makers are trying to work to ‘stop the bleeding’ and one of the hottest issues, recently, is the Fair Minimum Wage Act. Nearly 8 million Americans go to work every day and yet still live below the poverty line. The wealth disparities have soared since the 1970s with a CEO's pay at 273 times that of an average worker and the richest people in our nation have 288 times the wealth of the median household.”
  • The Myrtle Beach Sun-News, August 16, 2014: SC seventh worst for underprivileged children, national study says
    “The study by WalletHub, primarily a financial advice website, relied partly on Kids Count data to rank South Carolina as 45th for the percent of children in households with below-poverty income, 32nd in the percent of maltreated children, 41st in the child food insecurity rate, 42nd in the infant death rate and 39th for the percent of children without health insurance.”
  • Florida Today, August 16, 2014: Overhaul aims to bring help to homeless
    “The coalition is working to meet deadlines established by the federal government, which focused on consolidating homeless-assistance programs and promoting local efforts to end homelessness. This month, the coalition will implement a countywide assessment procedure, which will better match homeless people with agencies that can provide help.”
  • Sarasota Herald Tribune, August 16, 2014: Florida leads nation in turning down Medicaid money
    “Florida is No. 1 again. But state officials may not be accepting many accolades for this latest distinction. Florida leads the nation in turning down Medicaid funding from the federal government, according to a new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute. By refusing to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, Florida will lose out on $66.1 billion in federal funding over the next decade. Florida even edges out Texas, which comes in at a close second with $65.6 billion in lost federal cash.”
  • The Tennessean, August 16, 2014: TennCare blames feds for application delays
    “Officials with the state of Tennessee have asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed against them, contending the federal government, not TennCare, is to blame for a backlog of Medicaid applications.”
  • The Austin Villager, August 15, 2014: Minority Teachers Abandon Classrooms; Blacks, Latino Educators Find Other Professions
    “Released on July 7, the report revealed that black and Latinos are more likely to work and remain in high-poverty, hard-to-staff urban schools and districts than their white counterparts; in fact, they often consider it their duty to do so.”
  • Miami News-Record, August 15, 2014: The Harbor, Walmart get involved with 'Feeding America'
    “According to the ‘Feeding America’ website, although the recession is officially ended, unemployment rates are down, contributing to the high levels of food insecurity throughout the nation in every county.”
  • The Chippewa Herald, August 15, 2014: (Opinion) More health care coverage, though not enough
    “Gov. Scott Walker’s rejection of federal money to expand Medicaid didn’t help the cause. Yet the Republican governor’s decision not to set up a state-run insurance exchange is looking better, given the trouble Minnesota has experienced with its MNSure website.”
  • Federal Way Mirror, August 15, 2014: Federal Way Council opposes potential closure of Public Health Center
    “While Public Health clinics will remain open in downtown Seattle, Lake City, Bellevue, Renton and Kent, Councilwoman Lydia Assefa-Dawson pointed out upcoming King County Metro bus cuts will make it even harder for low-income families to access health care. According to a city memorandum, more than 90 percent of the Federal Way Public Health Center’s clientele have incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty line, 73 percent are people of color, 7 percent are homeless, 59 percent of family planning clients are uninsured, 20 percent of those who are pregnant and served by the maternity support services are involved with drugs or alcohol and 11 percent of client visits require an interpreter.”
  • The Press Enterprise, August 15, 2014: (Opinion) Continuing a Legacy to End Poverty
    “Fifty years ago, at a time when one-fifth of all American families could not afford even their most basic needs, the task of providing citizens with opportunities to succeed became the nation's foremost priority. On Aug. 20, 1964, the Economic Opportunity Act was signed into law, marking the official declaration of our War on Poverty. Now half a century later, we are losing that war. Lower-than-average educational attainment levels, high unemployment and low median average household income levels have led to higher unadjusted poverty levels. Statistically, one in four children today live below the poverty line.”
  • Los Angeles Times, August 14, 2014: Can Medi-Cal still work?
    “California is coming face to face with the reality of one of its biggest Obamacare successes: the explosion in Medi-Cal enrollment. The numbers -- 2.2 million enrollees since January -- surprised healthcare experts and created unforeseen challenges for state officials. Altogether, there are now about 11 million Medi-Cal beneficiaries, constituting nearly 30% of the state's population. That has pushed the public insurance program into the spotlight, after nearly 50 years as a quiet mainstay of the state's healthcare system, and it has raised concerns about California's ability to meet the increased demand for healthcare.”
  • Los Angeles Times, August 14, 2014: Joining forces to aid homeless; A city-county program offers services to get people off skid row
    “Los Angeles city and county workers launched a major effort Wednesday to clean up skid row and offer medical, mental health and social services to help an estimated 1,700 homeless people get off the streets. Dr. Susan Partovi, the medical field director for the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, joined 35 city sanitation and street service workers, and a couple dozen mental health, medical and outreach workers, on San Julian Street between 5th and 6th streets.”
  • The Palm Beach Post, August 14, 2014: Fla. state workers' health benefits among most generous, study finds
    “The generosity of Florida's coverage for state employees is particularly notable given that its Medicaid eligibility rules for adults are some of the nation's strictest. Gov. Rick Scott's office did not respond to requests for comment on the report or state funding priorities. Florida's cutoff for Medicaid eligibility is 35 percent of the poverty line. A single parent with two children can earn no more than $6,900 in 2014 to qualify for Florida's Medicaid program. Children can get coverage if their parents earn more.”
  • The Tennessean, August 14, 2014: TennCare call center has no answers
    “Tennesseans calling for help with Medicaid applications reach someone who can't view their file, can't answer basic questions, and probably won't call them back. Because of delays with a $35.7 million computer system, call center employees can do little except answer the telephone and pass along messages to TennCare. They cannot tell whether the state has received applications from the federal health insurance marketplace, and they cannot tell people the status of their eligibility. An attorney with a law firm representing TennCare acknowledged those failings in a letter. That letter has become part of a federal lawsuit that lawyers for three nonprofits filed against TennCare last month.”
  • Tulsa World, August 14, 2014: (Opinion) Arkansas made the most of the insurance mandate
    “Most Americans disapprove of the Affordable Care Act and its mandate requiring adults to purchase health insurance. Despite the opposition, the public is complying with the law: The number of uninsured Americans is dropping precipitously. No state has made progress faster than Arkansas. A new Gallup survey released this past week shows that the percentage of the state's population without insurance dropped nearly in half, down from 22.5 percent in 2013 to 12.4 percent today.”
  • The New York Times, August 13, 2014: Two Programs Aim to Move New York Families From Shelters
    “In a deal that took several months to hash out after some sparring by the Cuomo and de Blasio administrations, the state and city agreed to pay $80 million over four years to provide rental assistance to homeless families in which at least one person holds a full-time job, city officials said. The second subsidy program, estimated to cost $59 million over four years, will focus on chronically homeless families who have been in and out of shelters for at least two years, the officials said.”
  • The Boston Globe, August 13, 2014: Poverty persists in N.E. suburbs
    “New England's suburbs, often viewed as bastions of sprinkler-fed lawns and roomy SUVs, are also communities of hidden poverty, where one in four families relies on food stamps to stock cupboards with groceries and put food on the table, according to a report to be released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Wednesday. Nearly 2 million people who live in communities surrounding the region's major cities have low or barely moderate incomes, struggling with the same problems as the urban poor, but without the same services, support, and safety nets, Boston Fed researchers found.”
  • The Hill, August 13, 2014: Federal sentencing and prison reform now bipartisan issues
    “Over objections from older drug warriors, the GOP's younger generation — and even some of its elders — are working with Capitol Hill Democrats to shorten federal sentences, reduce populations in overcrowded federal prisons and even to count (and reconsider) the thousands of federal crimes on the books.”
  • The Charleston Daily Mail, August 13, 2014: State gets grant to help give low-income students access to AP courses
    “The U.S. Department of Education awarded a grant to West Virginia Monday that will help low-income students gain better access to Advanced Placement courses. The grant will funnel more than $62,000 in federal aid into the state to defray the expense of Advanced Placement tests, which cost $89. Based on the department's projections, the grant should cover all but $18 of that cost.”
  • The Columbus Dispatch, August 13, 2014: Kasich proposes more welfare reform
    “The governor is not backing away from time limits and work requirements. What he envisions is more coordinated and personalized approach for helping impoverished families get the assistance they need to find a job and back on their feet.”
  • The Newport Daily Press, August 13 2014: Democrats push for details on Medicaid session
    “The General Assembly is to convene next month to talk about Medicaid expansion, but there's still no firm word on the scope of what they'll tackle -- or even what kind of legislation, if any, they'll consider -- and that is starting to bug legislators pushing for some kind of additional coverage for low-income Virginians.”
  • The Birmingham News, August 13, 2014: VA gives these Alabama agencies $6.3 million to combat homelessness
    “Alabama nonprofit organizations will share in $6.3 million to help the homeless, a share of $300 million grants distributed nationally by Veterans Affairs. The money, part of an ambitious Obama administration goal to end veteran homelessness by 2015, will help an estimated 115,000 homeless veterans and their families, according to a VA release.”
  • Bangor Daily News, August 13, 2014: (Editorial) MaineCare should cover abortions
    “Yet abortions are one of the only procedures not covered by MaineCare, Maine's health care program for low-income residents funded by Medicaid. If a woman has money, she can pay for one. If she has a good job that offers private insurance, her abortion is likely covered. But a low-income woman is treated differently, even if an abortion is recommended by her doctor to preserve her health.”
  • The New York Times, August 12, 2014: Public Housing in City Reaches a Fiscal Crisis
    “Advocates for homeless people are demanding more apartments for families living in shelters. School officials want space in public housing for new prekindergarten classes. Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to use open land in the projects for new affordable housing. And just over a quarter of a million households sit on the waiting list for an apartment in one of the New York City Housing Authority's 334 developments. But the demands on Nycha, as the housing authority is known, clash with a grave financial reality. After years of shrinking government investment in public housing, the agency has a $77 million budget deficit this year and unfunded capital needs totaling $18 billion, its officials say.”
  • The Los Angeles Times, August 12, 2014: Economic recovery marked by lower-paying jobs, analysis finds
    “Job losses in the higher-paying manufacturing and construction sectors largely have been replaced by jobs in lower-wage industries, including hospitality and healthcare, according to a report released Monday by the United States Conference of Mayors.”
  • The Chicago Tribune, August 12, 2014: Emanuel touts progressive issues in NYC ahead of re-election bid
    “Chicago's mayor got another national stage to tout his push for an increased minimum wage and expanded earlier educational opportunities as he works to gain the support of liberals whom he has often viscerally disdained. That it came just six months before Emanuel will ask Chicago voters to give him a second term was not lost on his potential opponents.”
  • The Washington Post, August 12, 2014: (Blog) The ever-expanding Medicaid expansion
    “So how are states justifying their decisions to leave that much federal money on the table? One of their main arguments is that the federal government will eventually renege on its generous funding commitment to the Medicaid expansion. But based on the 49-year history of the Medicaid program, that claim doesn't hold up, according to Urban Institute researchers in a finding that has not received as much attention.”
  • The Times-Picayune, August 12, 2014: Homeless given 3 days to leave encampment under Pontchartrain Expressway
    “The New Orleans Health Department handed out fliers Monday evening warning people who have been living under the Pontchartrain Expressway overpass that they have 72 hours to leave. The area between South Claiborne to St. Charles avenues has been declared a public health hazard due to ‘debris, food products, garbage and waste which has led to rodent harborage,’ according to the notice.”
  • The San Francisco Chronicle, August 12, 2014: SC Medicaid dealing with application backlog
    “The website was designed to help people buy private, government-subsidized insurance under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. If shoppers made too little to qualify for subsidies but likely qualified for Medicaid, the site was supposed to send their data to the Medicaid agency in their state. But Medicaid directors were notified in mid-September those transfers wouldn’t immediately work as planned.”
  • The Post & Courier, August 12, 2014: As Haley touts welfare program, critics question its results
    “Poverty is a complex problem that will never have a silver bullet. But advocates said the administration’s desire to push people off the welfare rolls and into low-paying, minimum wage jobs won’t solve any of the state’s long-term poverty issues. While the practice may help the state’s bottom line, its focus is on numbers more than results, they said.”
  • The Roanoke Times, August 12, 2014: (Op-Ed) Thousands suffer as Virginia lawmakers play politics with women’s health
    “With Medicaid expansion currently on hold, Virginia's Medicaid coverage gap will leave 400,000 low-income Virginians without health insurance coverage. Women will be disproportionately impacted by the lack of Medicaid expansion because it will mean less access to critical reproductive health care - including family planning, breast health screenings and other preventive care.”
  • The New York Times, August 11, 2014: Task Force of Mayors Addresses Income Gap
    “Mayor Bill de Blasio and about 40 of his peers will release a report on Monday showing that the income gap between the wealthiest Americans and middle and low-income households continues to widen -- a trend with no signs of slowing down without policies to shrink the disparity. Mr. de Blasio, whose mayoral campaign last year tapped into New York City's growing angst over income inequality, is the chairman of a task force tackling the issue for the United States Conference of Mayors.”
  • Los Angeles Times, August 11, 2014: 'Poor doors' development proposal draws scorn in West Hollywood
    “The plans called for ‘the affordable units looking down on a pool they are prohibited from using,’ said a recent staff report from West Hollywood's Community Development Department. ‘This very obvious delineation of amenities runs contrary to West Hollywood's policies of inclusiveness and equal access for all.’ Social critics refer to such development practices as ‘poor doors’ because of the separation of income groups, which has caused an uproar in other major cities.”
  • The Washington Post, August 11, 2014: City program puts fresh veggies on low-income residents’ tables
    “Produce Plus provides low-income city residents with two $5 checks a week at certified District farmers markets and some community distribution sites to spend on fruit and vegetables this summer while the appropriated money lasts or until Sept. 30.”
  • The Washington Times, August 11, 2014: (Op-Ed) Lower benefits, higher employment
    “Rep. Paul Ryan has the right idea to solve the wrong-way incentives generated by big government. He would block-grant all the transfer-assistance programs and send them back to the states. Importantly, Mr. Ryan wants to restore lower eligibility requirements and reduce benefit-assistance time limits. Plus, he would expand the earned-income tax credit to ease the transition from welfare to work without prohibitive increases in marginal tax rates.”
  • The San Francisco Chronicle, August 11, 2014: S.F.'s answer to housing crisis: Offer loans to buy the buildings
    “Mayor Ed Lee is rolling out a pilot program Monday, apparently the first in the country that will provide city loans to groups like housing nonprofits from an initial pool of $3 million to buy smaller, low-income apartment buildings. The money is contingent upon keeping the units affordable and allowing the existing tenants to remain, according to program specifics, which were obtained exclusively by The Chronicle.”
  • Chicago Tribune, August 11, 2014: (Op-Ed) How will Washington respond to Paul Ryan's poverty plan?
    “Despite a sixfold spending increase per capita on federal programs for low-income families, more than 46 million Americans (15 percent) still live in poverty. The share hasn't moved much since 1964 when the poverty rate hovered around 19 percent -- although certain programs such as Social Security have raised older Americans out of chronic poverty.”
  • Investor’s Business Daily, August 11, 2014: ObamaCare's Future May Resemble Halbig, Win Or Lose
    “ObamaCare offers another set of subsidies that can dramatically lower deductibles and co-pays for low-income households -- if they buy silver-level plans. But many people find those plans too expensive. So they're opting for coverage that is affordable but may provide little in benefits.”
  • The Dallas Morning News, August 11, 2014: (Editorial) Low-income students have the will; where’s the way?
    “The reason, the study concludes, is not a lack of motivation or even money, but a lack of key community and high school resources, such as mentors, tutors and access to challenging classes that are available to children from wealthier households. Without these key supports, the report notes, students from low-income homes are significantly less likely to find the path to college and are more likely to struggle if they get there.”
  • The Cincinnati Enquirer, August 11, 2014: Report: Street homelessness climbs in county
    “The Strategies to End Homelessness report, which will be released Monday, shows a trend toward street homelessness. In 2013, Cincinnati and Hamilton County experienced a 38 percent increase in the number of homeless people living on the streets or in other places not meant for human habitation, such as a car or abandoned building.”
  • The Detroit News, August 11, 2014: Medicaid shift could save Michigan prisons $19M
    “Michigan is among 26 states that adopted Medicaid expansion and is joining a growing number of states - including New York, Connecticut and Oregon - that have decided to provide the health benefits to criminals. Michigan would save an estimated $16.8 million by shifting health costs to the federal government for in-patient stays at community hospitals for inmates. Under federal rules, Medicaid doesn't cover health care provided inside prison facilities.”
  • Lafayette Journal & Courier, August 11, 2014: Indiana's uninsured rate is now above national average
    “Indiana is also not among the 26 states that have expanded Medicaid to cover people earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line. As a result, eligibility rules for Hoosier adults remain among the strictest in the country. Gov. Mike Pence has asked the federal government for permission to restructure Indiana's Medicaid program, while getting the additional federal funding available through the ACA to expand access.”
  • The Washington Post, August 10, 2014: (Op-Ed) How will Washington respond to Paul Ryan's poverty plan?
    “Yes, we Americans, our members of Congress and our presidents care intensely about the plight of our fellow citizens who live in poverty.”
  • The Houston Chronicle, August 10, 2014: (Blog) Reality of pedestrian deaths and poverty connection is speed kills
    “An exhaustive report in Governing Magazine is making the rounds because it identifies, in chilling detail, what a lot of people have long believed to be the case: the poorer the neighborhood, the more likely residents are to be hit and killed by an automobile.”
  • The Twin Cities Pioneer Press, August 10, 2014: (Editorial) Minimum wage: Stillwater cafe owner decided to be transparent
    “In the uproar over Minnesota's increased minimum wage, the Oasis Cafe in Stillwater has been called many things. We'll add this: The establishment is a refuge for smart public policy.”

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Community Action Agencies were established to fight the War on Poverty in 1964. Eastern Idaho Community Action Partnership, located at 357 Constitution Way in Idaho Falls serves the nine eastern Idaho counties with services to help low-income individuals become independent and self-sufficient. EICAP is one of over 1,000 Community Action Agencies in the United States that provide services to every county in the nation.