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1. STOP MEDICAID PREMIUMS
Last year, in the face of a $3 billion budget crisis, the Legislature authorized DSHS to charge premiums for children on the Medicaid and SCHIP (State Children’s Health Insurance) Programs. These premiums haven’t started yet, but DSHS has said they could begin charging them as soon as March of this year. Children receiving Medicaid and SCHIP will be charged premiums between $15 and $25 per child, for up to three kids. This means a single family could be charged as much as $75 per month to maintain Medicaid coverage for their children. DSHS estimates that at least 20,000 kids will lose their health coverage if these premiums go through. The governor’s budget this session provided funding to roll back premiums for children up to 150% of the poverty line. FCWPP joins other faith groups and children’s advocates in supporting a rollback of premiums for children up to 200% of the poverty line. Covering these additional children will cost roughly $1.2 million over the next biennium and will ensure coverage for an additional 9,400 children.
Call your legislators and ask them to support funding in the budget to roll back Medicaid premiums on children up to 200% of the poverty line.
2. HUNGRY FAMILIES STILL NEED OUR HELP:
The Act for Hungry Families, HB 2769, has passed the House and has been referred to the Senate Child and Family Services Committee. So far the bill, despite bipartisan support, has no “champion” in the senate. The bill must be passed out of committee by next Friday, 2/27, and your senators need to hear from you to encourage them to move it quickly to a hearing.
The current version of the bill does not include a provision for food stamp fairness. Under current law, drug felons who have completed their sentence are ineligible for life for food stamp benefits, while all other types of felons are eligible. The original reason for the exclusion was concern that food stamps could be used in drug trafficking. Now, with food stamps issued in the form of debit cards, food stamp fraud is much less likely, while access to services such as food stamps is an important component of helping drug offenders successfully re-enter society. The exclusion for drug felons is based on a federal law that states must “opt-out” of. Many states have already done so, and Washington should follow their lead.
Call or write your senator and ask them to work to move HB 2769 through the senate, and to support the addition of food stamp fairness to the bill.
Many thanks to everyone who has acted on previous alerts. Please drop me a line to let me know which alerts, if any, you have responded to.
If you can, identify yourself as a Friend (Quaker) when contacting legislators in response to these Alerts. It helps us in our work in Olympia .
Contact your FCWPP Lobbying Team, Eve Rickert and Alan Mountjoy-Venning at stellamom”at”pobox.com (please insert the @ symbol – publishing e-mail addresses in public websites exacerbates spam problems) or by calling 360 754-3290.
Contact information for representatives is at http://www.leg.wa.gov/house/default.htm
Note: You have received this alert because you are on the email list of the Friends Committee on Washington State Public Policy http://www.quaker.org/fcwpp/