Pages tagged "News Article"
Child Advocates Call for Fix to ACA's 'Family Glitch'
More than 100 national and state organizations, including medical groups, are urging the president and lawmakers to fix a glitch in the healthcare reform law that could prevent families from gaining affordable healthcare coverage.
Under the ACA, the test of whether an employer-sponsored plan is unaffordable -- and thus whether the employee is eligible to buy a potentially more affordable plan in their state's exchange system with the help of government subsidies -- is based on the cost of coverage for the individual employee. If the cost of self-only coverage for an individual employee does not exceed 9.5% of the person's household income, then the coverage is deemed "affordable" by the federal government.
"This interpretation does not take into account whether coverage is actually affordable for an entire family, and it restricts access for dependents to exchange subsidies when the offer of individual coverage for the employee is deemed affordable," the letter states.
Fight in Congress over child tax credit
“The child tax credit is one of the most fundamental supports that families have in terms of raising their kids,” said Bruce Lesley, president of FirstFocus, a nonprofit children’s organization in Washington, D.C. “These are families that are paying taxes and that is why they get a credit.”
He said about 5.5 million children in the United States have at least one undocumented parent, but that most of those kids are U.S. citizens themselves.
Nationwide, 22 percent of children live in families with income below the federal poverty level. The child tax credit lifts 1.3 million children out of poverty, according to FirstFocus.
Grijalva named 'Champion for Children'
A national bipartisan child advocacy group named Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva a 2011 Champion for Children. He was one of 35 congressmen given First Focus Campaign for Children's highest congressional honor.
In choosing recipients, the group “noted leaders (who) demonstrated extraordinary initiative by spearheading activities such as sponsoring hearings or garnering the support of their colleagues to improve the health and well-being of children,” according to the announcement.
“Children need to be the first focus not only of Congress, but of our entire country's thinking about what kind of future we're building,” Grijalva said.
“Thanks to First Focus and other groups doing great work to promote child welfare, we're reminded today that kids need friends in Congress even if they can't afford a lobbyist or get meetings in corporate board rooms. I'm proud of this recognition today, and I'm going to do everything I can to earn it again next year.”
Children of Immigrants Targeted by Tax Warfare in Congress
Currently, the CTC is one federal tax benefit that people can claim using an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) instead of a social security number. This effectively makes it available to undocumented workers—those who lack formal authorization.
Noting that child poverty is already aggravated by the economic crisis, First Focus President Bruce Lesley, President told In These Times, “When a policy makes it harder for children—any children—to succeed, that policy undermines America’s future.”
Califican propuesta de ley como ataque a niños inmigrantes
Activists described as an attack on immigrant children a Republican initiative to eliminate the tax credit that parents are contributing to the treasury without a social security number .
"If the law changes, parents who lack a Social Security number earning $21,000 on average per year, or about $ 10 per hour, will lose an average of $1,800," said Janet Murguia, president of the National Council of La Raza (NLCR), at a press conference.
"Any restrictions on the Child Tax Credit make it harder for working parents to cover the basic needs of their children and threaten to increase poverty," said for his part, Wendy Cervantes, vice president of Immigration Policy and Child Rights at First Focus.
Activists call US bill an attack on immigrant children
"Any restrictions on child tax credit harder for working parents to cover the basic needs of their children and also threaten to bring the level of poverty at higher rates," said for his part, Wendy Cervantes, vice president of Immigration Policy Rights of Children and First Focus.
Peligra crédito tributario a los inmigrantes
Por Antonieta Cádiz
WASHINGTON, D.C.- Legisladores de ambos partidos negocian cómo financiar la extensión de los recortes a impuestos de nómina que expirarán el 29 de febrero. Un costo que podría salir de los bolsillos de familias indocumentadas con niños. En el Capitolio se le llama "conferencia", a un proceso en que se resuelven las diferencias entre proyectos de ley, aprobados por la Cámara de Representantes y el Senado, respecto al mismo tema. Ahora, precisamente, 20 legisladores iniciaron ya las discusiones para conciliar las propuestas que extenderían y financiarían los recortes a los impuestos de nómina, el seguro de desempleo por 18 meses y evitaría modificaciones mayores a los pagos que reciben los médicos por sus servicios a través de Medicare...
A Harder Squeeze on the Poor
House Republicans have hit upon a noxious scheme to help pay for an extension of the payroll tax cut: a tax increase on millions of poor working families. A bill passed by the House and now in conference seeks to deny cash refunds under the child tax credit to those who file tax returns using “individual taxpayer identification numbers” issued by the Internal Revenue Service. Only those using Social Security numbers would be eligible.
The refundable portion of the child tax credit is a life-saver for the working poor. Families that would be cut off by this policy change make an average of $21,000 per year, according to the Treasury Department. They would lose an average of $1,800. About 80 percent of those families are Hispanic. The taxpayer identification numbers are used frequently, though not exclusively, by unauthorized immigrants to pay the taxes because they are not eligible for Social Security numbers. The I.R.S. accepts their tax payments and allows families to claim the child tax credit regardless of immigration status. This policy is an effective antipoverty tool that protects children, most of whom are American-born citizens. ...
Baltimore Sun op-ed urges congressional supercommittee: Don't Cut Kids.
Protect programs that keep kids out of poverty
By Bruce Lesley
Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland and other members of the congressional "supercommittee" created by this summer's federal deficit ceiling law are charged with making a plan to reduce the federal budget deficit. That's a daunting task. But as new Census Bureau data shows, kids in Mr. Van Hollen's 8th District and in Maryland as a whole face an even more daunting one: staying afloat as more and more of them sink into poverty.
First Focus, a national bipartisan children's advocacy organization, has crunched the numbers, and the Census figures show that an alarming 16,000 children in Mr. Van Hollen's district lived in poverty in 2010. That's an increase of 78 percent since 2006, and it shows that a bad economy is hitting Maryland kids and their families hard. The decisions Mr. Van Hollen and other supercommittee members make will determine whether federal initiatives can continue to protect kids in Maryland and all over the country from the economic downturn's worst effects.
Today, Medicaid and Maryland's Children's Health Insurance Program ensure that 616,000 Maryland children don't have to become uninsured if their parents lose a job. Today, federal nutrition initiatives deliver nutritious meals to 434,000 kids during the school day and provide nutritious foods at home to kids who might otherwise go to bed hungry. And today, the federal Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit prevent tens of thousands of children from falling below the poverty line.
Federal investments like these also deliver real value for Maryland's communities and the entire state. Keeping kids insured through Medicaid and the state Children's Health Insurance Program means Maryland uses health care dollars cost-effectively, to keep kids healthy instead of ignoring small problems until they become big ones that require expensive emergency room care. Federal nutrition initiatives mean hunger doesn't stand in the way of learning, at a time when Maryland schools already face enough hurdles. And federal family tax credits help to keep families afloat, and that means their neighborhoods and communities don't face the broader social problems that result when families fail.
Will critical federal initiatives be there to protect Maryland kids tomorrow? If they are, will they have the resources they need to continue to make a difference? The decisions Mr. Van Hollen and the 11 other members of the supercommittee make over the next few weeks will answer those questions and help decide the future of Maryland children.
Right now, we don't know which way it will go. Lawmakers are facing extreme pressures to cut wherever they can. That's why it's so important for parents, educators, pediatricians, PTA members, advocates, faith leaders and every citizen who cares about the future of Maryland kids to speak up. Mr. Van Hollen and the rest of Maryland's leaders in Congress need to know that when less than 10 percent of the federal budget is focused on kids, deeper cuts to the lifelines holding so many Maryland children and their families up is not the way to solve our budget problems.
If those leaders make the right choice, Maryland families and communities will be better able to weather the economic storm today, and children will be better able to lead the state tomorrow.
Bruce Lesley is president of the First Focus Campaign for Children.
Sen. Collins wins children's advocacy award
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, received the Champion of Children Award on Monday from First Focus, a bipartisan advocacy group for children’s issues.
The award recognizes her continued support for the Children’s Health Insurance Program of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
The program provides federal matching funds to states that offer health insurance to families with children.