Affordable Care Act Increased Insurance Rates for Black Americans

With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the percentage of Black Americans who lack medical insurance has fallen significantly with the percentage of Black Americans who were uninsured decreasing by 8 percentage points from 2011 to 2019. Unfortunately, when compared to White populations, percentages of Black Americans uninsured are still comparatively high. Further, this

Finance Committee Begins Series on Mental Health & Substance Use Service Reforms

On Tuesday, February 8, 2022, the Senate Finance Committee started their series of hearings on mental health with Protecting Youth Mental Health: Part I – An Advisory and Call to Action. This series of hearings will focus on five areas of behavioral health: youth mental health, mental health workforce, parity between mental and physical health,

Finance Committee Considers ACF, ACYF Leads, Emphasis on Families First

On Wednesday, February 9, 2022, the Senate Finance Committee considered the nominations to fill two critical positions at the Department of Health and Humans Services: the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and the Administration on Children Youth and Families (ACYF).  Rebecca Jones-Gaston was nominated by President Biden for the ACYF position on November 18,

FY 2022 Appropriations Update: Another CR But Deal Reached

Last week the House of Representatives approved a fourth continuing resolution (CR) with the hope that it will allow a deal and eventual enactment of 12 appropriations for the fiscal year that started on October 1, 2021.  Not long after the House action, the top four appropriators announced an agreement that will allow appropriators to

Vice President Harris Hosts Event for EITC/CTC Day of Action

On February 8th, 2022, Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen, and American Rescue Plan Coordinator Gene Sperling hosted a press event for the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit Day of Action. Sperling opened the event by giving the history of the Child Tax Credit and an overview of

Support for Pregnant and Post-Partum Women Who Use Substances

On February 3, 2022, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a series of new reports from the Office of the Assistance Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) that “highlight how pregnant and postpartum women who use substances and their children can benefit from evidence-based prevention and treatment strategies.” Based on a review

(SAMHSA) Grant Program Opens

These reports are being released while Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is beginning to accept applications for Services Grant Program for Residential Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women. This $10 million grant program will provide pregnant and postpartum women and their children with comprehensive substance use treatment and recovery support services across

Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities Implemented

On January 24, 2022, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published it’s notice of Implementation of the Fostering Stable Housing Opportunities (FSHO) Amendments in the Federal Register. FSHO, signed by the President on December 27, 2020, made changes to the assistance provided to youth eligible for the Family Unification Program (FUP). FUP provides

Call to Action: ACF Releases Racial Equity Information Memorandum

On Thursday, February 4, 2022, HHS held a session on their new Racial Equity initiative. Debra Johnson the Deputy Assistant Secretary for External Affairs at HHS started the call by advocating for the nation to build a more just system that promotes fairness. She also outlines her agency's commitment to advancing racial equity. The next

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