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e : enotes@lists.ctvoices.org 22 February 2007 • 11:26PM -0500

[Enotes] CT Voices' February 22 E-Notes
by Michael Sullivan

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E-Notes
Connecticut Voices for Children
February 22, 2007

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

A.  IMPACT OF PRESIDENT'S PROPOSED BUDGET ON CONNECTICUT

B.  NEW PUBLICATIONS FROM CT VOICES
*  The Earned Income Tax Credit: What It Does For CT, And How It Could Do
Much More
*  Care4Kids, The Connecticut Child Care Subsidy Program: Just the Facts,
2007
*  Emergency Care for Children in HUSKY A: CY 2005
*  Births to Mothers in HUSKY A: Smoking During Pregnancy, 2004
*  Births to Mothers in HUSKY A: Birth Outcomes, 2004


A.  IMPACT OF PRESIDENT'S PROPOSED BUDGET ON CONNECTICUT

A news release from CT Voices on the impact of President Bush's proposed
2008 budget reveals that the proposal would weaken a broad range of
government services - from education to environmental protection to child
care - while extending tax cuts that provide windfall gains to the very
wealthy and saddle future generations with large debts.  The impact on our
state budget is real; to maintain current services will require an increase
in state investment to offset these proposed cuts.

For example, the President's budget would:
*   Cut Connecticut's K-12 education funding by $73.5 million (3.9%) over
the next five years (2008-2012).
*  Cut funding for Connecticut's vocational and adult education programs by
$36.3 million over 5 years, a 43% cut.
*  Cut Connecticut's child care funding by $3.2 million over the next five
years, a 4% reduction over this period.
*   Slice Connecticut's Head Start funding by $1.8 million next year (3%)
and by $19.1 million over the next five years (7%).
*  Cut Connecticut's funding for low-income energy assistance by $7.8
million (19%) next year, and by $45 million over the next five years (21%).

More details on these and other proposed cuts are in the CT Voices news
release:
http://www.ctkidslink.org/media/press_releases/bushcutsrelease.pdf

The full report and state data tables on which the news release is based are
available from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:
http://www.cbpp.org/2-21-07bud.htm


B.  NEW PUBLICATIONS FROM CT VOICES

1.  The Earned Income Tax Credit: What It Does For CT, And How It Could Do
Much More

The federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) lifts more children out of
poverty than any other federal program, and benefits 165,000 families in
Connecticut. In 2004, about $268 million in federal EITC refunds came to
Connecticut's low-wage families. These funds are quickly spent, moving
rapidly into Connecticut's economy.

Each of Connecticut's neighboring states has a state EITC that piggy-backs
on the federal EITC, further enhancing its benefits. Establishing a state
EITC in Connecticut would help low-income families achieve economic
self-sufficiency, address the growing disparity between high and low wage
earners, and make our tax system fairer.
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_326.html

2.  Care4Kids, The Connecticut Child Care Subsidy Program: Just the Facts,
2007

This brief outlines some key facts on child care subsidies and the
Governor's proposed FY08 budget. On average, 48% fewer Connecticut children
received a subsidy each month in 2005 than in 2002. Between Fiscal Year 2002
and FY 2007, funding for Care4Kids was cut by 41%.

The Governor's recommended FY 2008 budget for Care4Kids is 26% more than
what was originally budgeted in FY 07, but it is still 34% less than
spending in FY 2002, when adjusted for inflation.
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_330.html

3.  Emergency Care for Children in HUSKY A: CY 2005

This report finds that over a third of children in HUSKY A (Medicaid managed
care) are seen in emergency care settings each year. About one in four (26%)
emergency department visits were made for an ambulatory care sensitive
condition, i.e., a condition that is amenable to treatment in an outpatient
setting.

The report recommends access to primary care providers who can provide
telephone consultation and advice to parents when their children are ill or
injured to avoid unnecessary emergency visits, and parent education and
support to avoid common acute illnesses, injuries, and exacerbation of
conditions such as asthma and respiratory infections.
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_329.html

4.  Births to Mothers in HUSKY A: Smoking During Pregnancy, 2004

Among Connecticut births in 2004, 16 percent of HUSKY A mothers smoked
during pregnancy, compared with 8 percent covered by fee-for service
Medicaid and 3% of other mothers. Babies born to Connecticut mothers who
smoked were twice as likely to be low birthweight (15%) compared to those
born to non-smokers (7%). Overall, 14 percent of babies born to Connecticut
mothers who smoked were premature in 2004, compared to 9 percent of births
to non-smokers.

In 2005, Medicaid programs in 38 states and the District of Columbia covered
at least some smoking cessation services for all Medicaid recipients.
Tobacco dependence treatment, however, is not yet a covered benefit in
Connecticut's HUSKY A or fee-for-service Medicaid programs.
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_328.html

5.  Births to Mothers in HUSKY A: Birth Outcomes, 2004

This report finds that babies born to mothers in Connecticut's Medicaid
program are at risk for poor birth outcomes. Compared to all other babies in
Connecticut, the rates for low birth-weight, very low birth-weight, and
preterm birth were higher for babies born to mothers covered by HUSKY A and
fee-for-service Medicaid compared to all other babies born in Connecticut.
Since 2000, the low birth-weight rate has remained fairly steady, while the
preterm birth rate declined somewhat through 2003 and rebounded in 2004 for
babies born to HUSKY A and all other mothers.

The report recommends: 1) strengthening collaborative efforts between HUSKY
A health plans and community providers to improve early identification,
early enrollment, and early care for HUSKY-eligible pregnant women, and 2)
ensuring Medicaid coverage for smoking cessation services for teens and
pregnant women.
http://www.ctkidslink.org/pub_detail_327.html

------------------------------------
Connecticut Voices for Children
33 Whitney Ave
New Haven CT 06511
(203) 498-4240
http://www.ctkidslink.org

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