Newspapers across the country report on health issues at the state level. Stories include the loss of health insurance for working parents in Arizona, a rise in the number of uninsured seeking help at nonprofit clinics in Kansas, the expansion of a program for children's insurance in Alabama, a decline in the number of uninsured in New York City, fears about a financial blow for health providers in Louisiana and union activism for the uninsured in Florida.
Arizona Republic: "Nearly 10,000 working parents will lose their health insurance this month in the wake of state budget cuts. ... KidsCare Parents, a program that provides low-income families with inexpensive insurance, will end Sept. 30. The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, which administers the program, could not pay the $6 million annual cost following cuts by the Legislature. The state faces a $3 billion budget shortfall. The move comes as demand for government assistance is skyrocketing" (Newton, 9/8).
The Wichita Eagle: "Several Wichita health clinics that serve low-income and uninsured people have seen patient visits climb as a result of the economic downturn, clinic officials said. And the numbers may continue to grow ... as more laid-off workers — including those from aircraft plants — begin to exhaust their savings and temporary health coverage" (Rodriguez, 9/7).
The Birmingham News: "Alabama health officials expect to sign up thousands of more children for All Kids, the state's subsidized health insurance plan, when they roll out a major program expansion next month. Beginning Oct. 1, coverage will expand to families making up to three times the federal poverty level, $66,156 for a family of four. The current coverage is two times the federal poverty level" (Chandler, 9/8).
New York Post: "Bucking the national trend of a rising number of uninsured, New York City has provided health coverage to more than 1 million additional residents over the past decade. The shrinking pool of uninsured is largely thanks to state and city programs that expanded coverage for low-income families and aggressively bolstered enrollment in existing programs" (Campanile, 9/8).
The Monroe News Star: "In January 2011, a little-known formula will prompt the federal government to slash $1 billion in health care spending for the poorest residents of one of the poorest states in the country. Unless legislators make tough political choices to close the gap, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals and Medicaid providers like Pitts and Kidd fear a devastating economic blow and the loss of health care for thousands across the state" (Hamilton, 9/8).
Tampa Bay Newspapers reports "the Florida AFL-CIO is keeping the pressure on to pass health care reform legislation. Union spokesperson Rich Templin said the need is clear, citing a recent study that reported two out of five Floridians were uninsured in 2007-2008 - nearly 5.8 million people. ... He said the AFL-CIO won't back down until working Americans have a choice of coverage similar to Medicare" (Presson, 9/7).