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Children's Health

  • The Damage to Children's Health Insurance Is Already Being Done The Atlantic by Annie Lowrey — Right now, a draft of a letter informing thousands of Virginia parents that their kids might lose their health coverage just after the holidays is sitting on Linda Nablo's desk. "People are going to panic," Nablo, who is the chief deputy director of the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services, told me. "It's going to cause mass confusion. It's going to be an increase in the lack of trust in government, that government will do what it says it will do. People will lose their managed-care plans. They'll lose their provider. It's going to cause chaos." Hill staffers insist and the states anticipate that Congress will pass new funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in the coming weeks. But the situation has left doctors fuming, administrators bewildered, parents frightened, and politicians shocked. Even if no states end up running out of money and no kids end up losing coverage, the dithering has already diverted state resources, degraded state programs, and sapped state coffers, and Congress's dysfunction has pushed the stability of an effective, respected program with bipartisan support into doubt.

  • Lawmakers Making Progress in Talks on Children's Health Care The Hill by Peter Sullivan and Rachel Roubein — Congressional negotiators are making progress toward a bipartisan deal to reauthorize children's health insurance and several other important health-care programs, sources say. Staff from the relevant committees in both parties and chambers met over the Thanksgiving break and are getting closer to an agreement, according to lobbyists and aides. The package would include funding for CHIP and community health centers, and an extension of a range of other expiring Medicare programs. It could also include a bipartisan bill from the Senate Finance Committee known as the Chronic Care Act that seeks to make Medicare spending more efficient and save money.

  • 'Scary' Prediction for U.S. Kids: 57 Percent Could be Obese by Age 35 USA Today by Kim Painter — A whopping 57 percent of the nation's children and teens will be obese by age 35 if current trends continue, according to a sobering new study out Wednesday. The research, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, goes beyond previous studies suggesting unhealthy childhood weights often lead to adult obesity. It suggests that while heavy children face the highest risk, even those who make it to age 20 in good shape face substantial peril in a world where obesity could soon be the new normal. "This study is the first to make precise predictions for today's generation of children," and the news is not good, said lead author Zachary Ward, a researcher at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The findings, he said, show the need for stepped-up prevention efforts from infancy through young adulthood.  

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