Category Archives: Low-Income Families

National Commission to Issue Sharp Warning That Efforts to Improve Health Will Fail Unless the Nation Invests in Broad New Efforts Outside the Health Care System

RWJF Commission to Build a Healthier America to Release New Recommendations that Call for Major Initiatives in Early Childhood Development, Creating Healthy Communities, and Broadening Role of Health Care Providers; Funding Early Childhood Development For All Children by 2025 Critical to Nation’s Health

On January 13, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America will issue new recommendations aimed at improving health now and for generations to come.  The recommendations and new report, from a nonpartisan, diverse group of national experts and thought leaders, will highlight the need to:

  • Prioritize investments in America’s youngest children
  • Encourage leaders in different sectors to work together to create communities where healthy decisions are possible
  • Challenge health professionals and health care institutions to expand their focus from treating illness to helping people live healthy lives

Building on its original work from 2009 – which helped advance a national movement to address non-medical factors that affect our health – the RWJF Commission to Build a Healthier America reconvened in 2013 to assess changes that could have the greatest and most immediate impact on improving health. The Commission will release the new recommendations on Monday, January 13, 2014, at 2:30 p.m. ET, during a live online event from the Newseum’s Knight Studio in Washington, DC.

The event will feature Commission Co-Chairs Mark McClellan and Alice Rivlin; Commission Staff Director, and the leading national expert on social determinants of health, David Williams; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President, Risa Lavizzo-Mourey; and Commission members (full list below). Innovative programs and policies from across the nation will be highlighted, including tangible examples of the kind of change the Commission is calling for on a broad scale.

Register for the January 13 live online event now.

For More Information or to RSVP: Please contact Sara Knoll at 301-652-1558 or; or Christine Clayton at 609-627-5937 or

Affordable Care Act and Implications of Medicaid Expansion in Alaska

By Christine Brubaker-Schauble, RN

Due to the complexity and scope of Medicaid expansion-related ACA provisions, much is still unknown about how Medicaid expansion would alter the structure of current state-funded programs for the uninsured and other health care delivery stakeholders such as hospitals, clinics, clinicians, employers, private insurers, and Tribal health organizations. Alaska Center for Public Policy in collaboration with Christine Brubaker-Schauble will work to summarize components of the ACA and provide a roadmap to published information relevant to various stakeholder groups. When publications with quality Alaska-specific data are not available, summaries of national-level data/information supplemented with key informant interviews will be provided.

Alaska’s health care delivery system has both cutting-edge innovations (such as the Community Health Aide Program and telemedicine) and substantial challenges to overcome (such as how to keep vaccine viable when delivering to rural communities via unheated bush plane). Our issues are unique as compared to the Lower 48 states so in the end only Alaskans know the answers to questions like, “Will an expanded Alaska Medicaid program meet the health care needs of low-income Alaskans and if not, what alternatives do we have for meeting those needs?”

This project seeks to give practical information to Alaska decision-makers and health policy experts on the potential impact of opting for a Medicaid program expansion. A series of policy briefings will be published in segments during the remainder of the 2013 legislative session and throughout the summer, and will include

  • a review of key components of the Medicaid expansion provision and how it fits within the context of the ACA as a whole,
  • an overview of the Medicaid program in Alaska, and
  • key informant interviews with stakeholders, providers, and organizations in Alaska.

Keep reading…

Access the full list of resources utilized for this paper here. Your comments are also appreciated. 

From the Commonwealth Fund Blog: The Cost of 30 Years of Unsustainable Health Spending Growth in the United States

“The United States has by far the most expensive health care system of any country in the world. Health spending constitutes more than 18 percent of the U.S. economy, compared with less than 10 percent in the average industrialized country. And not only is health spending high, it is projected to rise faster than gross domestic product over the next 10 years.”

View the full article by David Squires here.


Seriously Important Federal Budget Choices: What’s Next?

Confused about the many federal budget steps? Ellen Nissenbaum of the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities is leading a live webinar to help provide clarity and an expert explanation of where things stand now. The free webinar is open to the public, and attendees will be given the opportunity to ask questions at the end. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity!

Background: Many are already feeling the impact of the sequestration cuts, and decisions made in the next few months will have a lasting impact on vital safety net programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, and SNAP/food stamps. If Congress fails to act, the automatic cuts will keep happening. This webinar will cover:

  • The ways Congress and the Administration may bridge their differences in the months ahead – and how that affects all of us.
  • Practical steps you can take to fight off efforts to slash services.

Date: Friday, March 22, 2013

Time: 8:00 AM AKDT

Estimated Length: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Register here

How Will Sequestration Affect Public Health?

Experts seem to agree that the consequences could be dire. Below is a list of four news sources, a small sample really, of the wide world of experts who are trying to convey just how dire sequestration will be to public health and other health-related programs.

Politico: Cuts could harm health emergency preparedness

Governing: Sequestration’s impact on public health

Los Angeles Times: ‘Sequester’ cuts to hit healthcare hard