Senate avoids a US debt disaster, votes to extend borrowing

The Senate has dodged a U.S. debt disaster, voting to extend the government’s borrowing authority into December and temporarily avert an unprecedented federal default that experts warned would devastate the economy and harm millions of Americans. The party-line Democratic vote of 50-48 in support of the bill to raise the government’s debt ceiling by nearly […]

New Pa. program aims to help at-risk kids stay out of foster care, group homes | Tuesday Coffee

A new state action plan taking effect this month aims to keep more at-risk children in their homes and communities, reducing the need for foster and group home placements. The plan is required under the federal Family First Prevention Services Act, a piece of legislation authorized under a February 2018 bipartisan budget deal that ended a government shutdown, and […]

Report: Pa. kids show elevated blood levels at more than twice the national rate | Wednesday Coffee

An alarming 5 percent of Pennsylvania children have elevated levels of lead in their blood at more than two times the national rate, a newly released study has found. The research, from JAMA Pediatrics, a peer-reviewed medical journal published by the American Medical Association, puts Pennsylvania in the company of just six states nationwide with such dangerously high blood […]

With Federal Support, PA Focuses on Keeping Kids Out of Foster Care

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania implements a new, evidence-based prevention plan on Friday, to help kids at risk of out-of-home placement stay with family when possible. The Family First Prevention Services Act, passed by Congress in 2018, moves funds away from foster care and group-home settings to focus instead on keeping families together. It requires states, including […]

Georgetown University Report: Medicaid Expansion Narrows Maternal Health Coverage Gaps, But Racial Disparities Persist

A new report from the Georgetown Center for Children and Families shows that a state’s decision on whether to expand Medicaid has a profound impact on women of childbearing age (18-44). In 2019, across all racial and ethnic groups, women in non-expansion states were more likely to be uninsured than women in states that had […]