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The Cost of Health Care as We Enter Another Reform Debate

Shortly before the election the increases in the average premium costs under the ACA captured national attention.  Premiums rose on average by more than 20 percent with increases ranging from 145 percent in Arizona ($507 per month) to a low of – 4 percent in Indiana ($286 per month).  But all the focus was on

Congress Back, May Move Families First With Cures Bill

Congress returns for what is likely to be the last sprint for the 114th Congress.  As part of that they are likely to move an updated version of the Families First Act (Conference Report 114-628)as part of a larger package of legislation. Congress may agree to a “21st Century Cures” bill that seeks to add

Some of Key Points of Surgeon General on Substance Abuse

Although crowed out by the election, Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy’s report on substance abuse, Facing Addiction in America, offers a detailed roadmap to expanding this nation’s strategy on addressing the ever-present problem of substance use.  The Surgeon General said, “the reason I'm issuing this report is I want to call our country to action

Surgeon General Sounds Alarm on Substance Abuse

On Thursday morning, the Surgeon General made headlines across the nation when he released his new report highlighting the problem of substance use addiction across the country. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., released the Report, Facing Addiction in America, in the hope that his report will have some of the same impact that past

Foster Care Numbers Trending Upward

With the latest AFCARS data official, there are now clear indications that foster care numbers are trending upward.  A third consecutive increase in foster care to 427,910 children in care represents an eight percent increase since 2012.  Likely these numbers will be even higher when the 2016 numbers are reported next year. The numbers are

Home Visiting Briefing Looks Toward Next Reauthorization

On Wednesday, November 2 there was a Capitol Hill briefing on the home visiting program, MIECHV (Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting). The target audience included Capitol Hill staff from both houses and both parties.  The goal of the briefing was an early education of congressional staff on the program and how it works. The

White House Releases Task Force Release Report on Mental Health Parity

Late last month the White House Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force released an important and long-awaited report addressing mental health parity in health care plans.  The task force is the result of a March 2016, presidential order creating the task force to build on recent changes in federal law and recent

Key States in Families First Act Debate Have Big Investment In State Funds

For the states that raised objections to parts of the Families First Act, specifically California, New York, Texas and Wyoming, the Child Trends survey gives some perspective. California and New York which raised serious concerns over the re-structuring both draw-down and spend significant amounts on child welfare.   In 2014 California spent slightly more than $4

Massachusetts Tracks Increased Substance Abuse in Child Abuse Reports

Massachusetts has reported some new and detailed information on the impact of substance abuse on child abuse reports.  The data, reported recently by the Boston Herald indicates that within a six month period substance abuse was a factor in 14,000 cases, or 30 percent, of the 47,700 total reports of abuse and neglect the state