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e : 22 December 2006 • 1:01AM -0500

[Enotes] CT Voices' December 21 E-Notes
by Michael Sullivan


Connecticut Voices for Children
December 21, 2006

As we approach the end of 2006, all of us at Connecticut Voices for Children
wish you happy holidays and a safe, healthy, and very happy New Year!  

In this issue of E-Notes, you'll find:

*  Staff Changes
*  Save the Date: State Budget Forum
*  Please Join Us as a Voice for Connecticut's Children

*  Connecticut Lags Behind Most States in Support to Low Income Working
Families through the Child Care Subsidy Program
*  Covering Connecticut's Children: How Policy Changes Affect HUSKY Program
*  Ambulatory Care Utilization by Children Enrolled in HUSKY A in 2005
*  Births to Mothers in HUSKY A: 2003 and 2004
*  Births to Mothers in HUSKY A: Prenatal Care, 2004
*  Births to Mothers in Medicaid by Town, 2004

*  Bolstering Connecticut's Workforce and Communities by Nurturing the
Success of Urban Youth in Education
*  Lessons from the Front Lines of the Katrina Recovery: Harnessing
Entrepreneurship to Build Communities  


1.  Staff Changes

On the eve of the 2007 General Assembly Session, we announce two changes in
Connecticut Voices' legislative staff.  The first change, which is truly
bittersweet, is the departure of Ellen Scalettar to become the new Director
of Policy, Research, and Legislation for the Senate Democrats.  For the past
six years, Ellen has been a Senior Policy Fellow at Voices and directed our
lobbying activities in Hartford.  She also became our federal budget guru.
While her passion, smarts and humor will be greatly missed here at Voices,
she'll take her commitment to improving the life chances of Connecticut's
children and families to this new position, and we know we'll all be the
better for it.

Joining us to pick up where Ellen left off as we enter the 2007 General
Assembly Session is Mary Glassman, who began at CT Voices this past week.
Mary brings to Voices a wealth of experience in journalism, law, and public
service.  She has served as First Selectman of Simsbury, legal counsel to
House Speaker Moira Lyons, legislative liaison for the CT Office of
Workforce Competitiveness, special legal counsel to Senate President Kevin
Sullivan and then, when he became Lieutenant Governor, his Chief of Staff.
Most recently, Mary ran for Lieutenant Governor in the Democratic primary
with Stamford Mayor Dannel Malloy, and then in the general election with New
Haven Mayor DeStefano.  Her insights into the needs of the state, based on
the past half year's conversations with Connecticut residents in all our
towns and cities, will help guide Voices' work in the upcoming year.    

2.   Save the Date: State Budget Forum

Please save the date for CT Voices for Children's 6th Annual State Budget
Forum.  The theme of this year's Budget Forum is "Big Challenges, Bold
Ideas" and we'll feature presentations on many of the ambitious proposals
that are being developed - by those who have helped develop them --  in such
areas as creating more affordable housing, providing incentives for "smart
growth," improving our health care system and reducing the number of
uninsured, reforming K-12 education financing and reducing our reliance on
property tax revenues, and reducing our educational achievement gap through
expansion of quality early childhood education.  

When: January 31, 2007
Where: Old Judiciary Room, State Capitol, Hartford

We will follow up with more details before the event.

3.  Please Join Us as a Voice for Connecticut's Children

As the year draws to a close, we invite you to join us as a 2007 "Voice" for
Connecticut's children.  Memberships also can be given in honor of the
children in your life who are especially precious to you (we'll send a
special note to any child you decide to honor in this way!).  

With your support, Connecticut Voices can continue to produce the reports
and analyses on which so many have come to rely, and further enhance our
advocacy for Connecticut's kids and families!   Tax-deductible donations can
be sent to CT Voices for Children, 33 Whitney Avenue, New Haven, CT 06510.
Many thanks from all of us at Voices!!


1.  Connecticut Lags Behind Most States in Support to Low Income Working
Families through the Child Care Subsidy Program

Over the past several years Connecticut has chosen to: a) significantly
reduce state funding for the Care4Kids program; b) allow reimbursement rates
to stagnate, thus reducing the amount families receive in assistance from
Care4Kids; c) make it difficult for low income working families to be
eligible for and access Care4Kids subsidies; and d) divert a significant
proportion of TANF funds to the CT Department of Children and Families.
This report urges the reversal of these harmful choices, and restoration of
state funding for Care4Kids and assurance of a dependable funding stream.

2.  Covering Connecticut's Children: How Policy Changes Affect HUSKY Program

Major policy and procedural changes in the state's HUSKY/Medicaid health
insurance program have led to precipitous drops in the number of children
and parents who are enrolled. While most of these changes were intended to
save the state money during a budget crisis, they have proven costly in the
long run. Further, at the time these harmful changes were made,
Connecticut's families were experiencing their own economic difficulties and
the need for health care coverage increased. While some of these policies
have been repealed or reversed, this issue brief documents what remains to
be done to achieve the goal of ensuring that all Connecticut children have
access to health care.

3.  Ambulatory Care Utilization by Children Enrolled in HUSKY A in 2005

This report on ambulatory care (office, clinic visits and emergency visits)
received by children enrolled in HUSKY A (Medicaid) finds that the rates of
children receiving well-child care in 2005 increased slightly over the
previous year.  However, the overall rate of ambulatory care continues to
fall short of professional recommendations, federal goals for children in
Medicaid, and HUSKY A contract requirements.  These gaps in ambulatory care
utilization persist among children of all different racial/ethnic

4.  Births to Mothers in HUSKY A: 2003 and 2004

This report examines recent trends in health care for children born to
mothers enrolled in HUSKY A/Medicaid, including prenatal care, low birth
weight, pre-term births, pregnancy risk factors, complications of labor and
delivery, and obstetric procedures.  It finds that HUSKY A/Medicaid covers
an increasing percentage of all births to Connecticut mothers, especially in
Connecticut's most economically challenged cities and towns. While Medicaid
coverage alone cannot offset significant socioeconomic and health
differences that contribute to greater risk of adverse birth outcomes,  some
conditions of pregnancy (risk of unintended pregnancy, smoking, anemia) can
be addressed with risk-appropriate family planning, preconception care, and
prenatal care.

5.  Births to Mothers in HUSKY A: Prenatal Care, 2004

This report finds that nearly one in three babies born in Connecticut in
2004 was born to a mother whose care was covered by Medicaid.  While access
to health insurance can improve access to early and adequate prenatal care
among low-income women, this study finds that, in 2004, mothers in HUSKY
A/Medicaid were less likely than other Connecticut mothers to begin prenatal
care early in the pregnancy and less likely to have adequate prenatal care.

6.  Births to Mothers in Medicaid by Town, 2004

This brief summarizes the number and percentage of births by city and town
to mothers enrolled in Medicaid. A majority of births in the state's largest
cities were to mothers who were on Medicaid.


You can watch new online videos from the Inventive Views speaker series, a
collaborative project of the Partnership for Strong Communities and CT

1.  Bolstering Connecticut's Workforce and Communities by Nurturing the
Success of Urban Youth in Education

Connecticut State University Chancellor Dr. David Carter, and Wick Sloane,
former Chief Financial Officer of the University of Hawaii, probed what
works and what doesn't to make higher education attainable and successful
for young people without the privilege of wealth and connections. Recent
Southern Connecticut State University graduate Cindy Martinez added a
student perspective. The panel also responded to comments and questions from
the audience.

2.  Lessons from the Front Lines of the Katrina Recovery: Harnessing
Entrepreneurship to Build Communities  

Lourna Bourg is the President and Executive Director of the Southern Mutual
Help Association.  Over the last 30 years she has worked in rural community
and housing development.   Ms. Bourg discussed how, within 48 hours of
Hurricane Katrina's landfall, Southern Mutual Help Association initiated its
Rural Recovery Response to begin the long-term task of recovery and
rebuilding.  They work primarily with agricultural and pervasively poor
communities, women and people of color.

These videos and more biographical information are on our Inventive Views

Videos of these and other Voices events are also on our Video Library page:

Connecticut Voices for Children
33 Whitney Ave
New Haven CT 06511
(203) 498-4240

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