Kids Count Report – Colorado

  • More Colorado kids slipping into poverty, report says, By Karen Auge, March 10, 2011, Denver Post: “In one of the first comprehensive looks at how the recession has affected families, the Colorado Children’s Campaign reports that the state’s children continued a slide into poverty that began a decade ago and accelerated as hard times hit. According to the 2011 Kids Count in Colorado! report being released today, another 31,000 children slipped into poverty in 2009, bringing the total to 17 percent of all children, up from 15 percent the year before…”
  • Report: Recession sends more Colorado kids into deep poverty, By Barbara Cotter, March 10, 2011, Colorado Springs Gazette: “In a state where the number of children living in poverty has been growing faster than anywhere else in the United States, the recession was bound to make a bad situation worse. And it did. According to the ’2011 Kids Count in Colorado’ report, released Thursday by the nonprofit Colorado Children’s Campaign, the number of Colorado children living in poverty went up by 17 percent from 2008 to 2009, with minority kids faring even worse. Median family incomes dropped by $1,800 and the number of homeless students enrolled in public schools jumped 53 percent from the 2006-07 school year. Another sobering statistic: The number of children whose families live in extreme poverty – defined as a family of four making $11,000 or less annually – climbed from 65,000 in 2008 to 95,000 in 2009…”

States and Medicaid Costs

  • Will health care law raise states’ Medicaid costs?, By Tony Pugh, March 8, 2011, Miami Herald: “The nation’s Republican governors are raising a new complaint against the 2010 national health overhaul, which they deride as ‘Obamacare.’ They say it would drive up their Medicaid costs dramatically at a time they’re already slashing their budgets to cope with debt. There’s no question that the health care law will force states to expand their Medicaid services, but how that ultimately will affect states’ costs is a matter of considerable dispute. The 2010 law requires that state Medicaid programs in 2014 begin covering all non-elderly people who earn up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, which would comprise people with incomes of up to $29,400 for a family of four this year. By 2019, that expansion is expected to add 16 million people to Medicaid, which now provides health coverage for about 60 million low-income Americans. Childless adults and parents who previously earned too much to qualify for the program will make up the bulk of the new enrollees…”
  • To cap Medicaid, Florida looks to managed care, By Greg Allen, March 8, 2011, National Public Radio: “In Tallahassee, Florida’s Legislature has one overriding goal this session: to close a $4.5 billion budget shortfall. And one of the key programs it is targeting for cuts is Medicaid. In Florida and every other state, the program, which provides health insurance for the needy, makes up a big chunk of the annual budget. In reforming the program, Florida hopes to save $1 billion in what it spends on Medicaid. When he introduced a plan recently to overhaul Medicaid, the head of Florida’s Senate, Republican Mike Haridopolos, said that his first two goals were improving the quality of care and improving the access to care. ‘Then and only then,’ he said, ‘we start looking at costs.’ But in fact, there is really one thing driving elected officials in Florida and elsewhere to take a hard look at Medicaid – and that’s the price tag. Ten years ago in Florida, Medicaid cost $9 billion. By last year, it had risen to more than $22 billion. More than half of that cost is picked up by the federal government. Even so, Florida’s share still amounts to nearly one-third of the state’s budget…”