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Opioid Epidemic and the Repeal of ACA/Medicaid Block Grant

Evidence is all around that the country is facing another drug abuse crisis.  Not surprisingly that crisis is impacting the number of children entering foster care.  Child welfare will continue to be effected by increased drug epidemic and that could become even more significant if Congress repeals the ACA, block grants Medicaid and does not

Chair of Ways and Means Has Positive Words for Home Visiting

On Thursday, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee had positive words for the home visiting program.  [the Human Resources Subcommittee will work on] “solutions to help more families climb the economic ladder and escape poverty. We will continue taking action to ensure the programs under our Committee’s jurisdiction are encouraging and rewarding work

Study Calculates a Loss of 3 Million Jobs if ACA Repealed

The Commonwealth Fund has released a study that indicates that the repeal of the ACA without a replacement will result in a loss of 2.6 million jobs in 2019 and 2.9 million jobs by 2021. Besides the lost jobs, the study claims that states will experience a $2.6 trillion reduction in business output, states will

In Case You Missed It, HHS Issues Final Regulations and Guidance

Although the new Congress can repeal all regulations issued since early June 2016, the Administration continued to issue key guidance on human service programs through HHS. On Wednesday, December 14, HHS published final regulations for the updated Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) regulations and requirements.  AFCARS data reported by states annually

Congress Sends 21st Century Cures Act to President

On Wednesday, December 7, the Senate gave final approval to HR 34 the 21st Century Cures Act by a vote of 94 to five. The bill (which had temporarily served as a vehicle for passage of the Families First Act) is a compilation of National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding increases, changes in the drug

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