Tag Archive: McAuliffe

  1. FAMIS: A Success Story That’s in Jeopardy

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    ***UPDATE*** 1/6/15    Sign on letter for organizations supporting extension of funding for FAMIS

    FAMIS, the public health insurance program for low-income families, along with Medicaid, has helped reduce the number of uninsured children in Virginia by 24% from 2008 to 2013. Comprehensive, child-centered benefits and affordable cost-sharing with families make FAMIS an effective means of ensuring that children in low-income, working families grow up getting the preventive and primary health care they need to thrive. Both Republicans and Democrats have championed this public health success for kids in Virginia.

    Without action by Congress, however, funding for the entire Children’s Health Insurance Program (which we call FAMIS in Virginia), will expire at the end of September 2015. If this happens, it will be left up to each state to take over the entire cost of insuring these children (the federal government currently covers 67% of the cost) or discontinue the program, leaving an estimated 104,000 Virginia children without insurance. It is unlikely Virginia would take over full financing of the program, as the federal assistance is built into the FY15-FY16 state budget, and the Commonwealth already faces a deficit.

    Loss of the FAMIS program would essentially double the number of uninsured children in the Commonwealth. According to a new report released today by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, “Children’s Coverage at A Crossroads: Progress Slows,” 5.4% of the Commonwealth’s children, or more than 101,000 kids, remain uninsured.

    “Without a renewed commitment to children’s health coverage, we are concerned that the progress we’ve made for children will stall,” said Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. You can listen to a Virginia News Connection story about the report here.

    In Virginia, Gov. Terry McAuliffe has already taken action to increase outreach efforts to low-income families throughout the state. As part of his September 2014 Healthy Virginia report, Gov. McAuliffe announced additional funding to reach families who may be eligible for FAMIS but are not aware of the program, or who need help applying. According to the Department of Medical Assistance Services, this outreach has already begun in Southwest Virginia, an important area to target since 22% of the uninsured kids in Virginia live in rural areas.

    Child advocates must focus on educating Congress about the importance of refunding CHIP before the program expires. This will ensure that Virginia’s low-income working families do not lose the comprehensive health coverage they now have for their children. Voices is partnering with the Virginia Oral Health Coalition, the Virginia Poverty Law Center, The Commonwealth InstituteVirginia Organizing, and many others to advocate on this issue. Stay tuned for details on how you can take action!

    Would your organization like to join the coalition? Contact Ashley Everette at ashley@vakids.org.

  2. Candidate Forum on Mental Health Featuring Ken Cuccinelli and Terry McAuliffe

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    The Campaign for Children’s Mental Health and Voices for Virginia’s Children are pleased to be partnering with NAMI Virginia and many other organizations to sponsor a forum on mental health topics for the two men seeking to become Virginia’s next Governor. Please join us on August 5th in Richmond to hear what they have to say!

    Candidate Forum on Mental Health
    The coalition of mental health organizations is sponsoring a candidate forum on mental health. This forum is an opportunity for citizens to hear from Virginia’s gubernatorial candidates, Ken Cuccinelli and Terry McAuliffe, on their ideas and policy platforms for mental health issues.

    When and Where
    Monday, August 5th
    6:30 – 8:30 pm
    Oates Theater, Collegiate School (Richmond, Virginia)

    Click here for a flyer with detailed information including the address and event sponsors.

    Map and Directions
    Click here for a detailed campus map. Look for Building “A” on the map.
    Click here for directions to the Main Campus of Collegiate School.

    Click here for parking information. Look for the area on the map marked “Event Location” and the areas on the map in yellow marked “Parking”. Please allow ample time to locate a parking spot and arrive at the forum on time.

    Click here to register!Registration is encouraged but not required.

    Contact Mary Beth Walsh mwalsh@namivirginia.org (804) 285-8264 x 204

    Sponsoring Organizations

    American Academy of Pediatrics – Virginia Chapter
    American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry – Virginia Chapter
    Brain Injury Association of America
    Campaign for Children’s Mental Health
    CHIP of Virginia & Parents as Teachers State Office
    Collegiate School
    DisAbility Law Center of Virginia
    FACES of Virginia Families
    Legislative Coalition of Virginia Nurses
    Mental Health America of Virginia
    National Alliance on Mental Illness of Virginia
    National Association of Social Workers – Virginia Chapter
    Psychiatric Society of Virginia
    Substance Abuse and Addiction Recovery Alliance
    Virginia Association of Community Services Boards
    Virginia Association of Infant Mental Health
    Virginia Association of School Nurses
    Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness
    Virginia College of Emergency Physicians
    Virginia Counselors Association
    Virginia Network of Private Providers
    Virginia Organization of Consumers Asserting Leadership
    Voices for Virginia’s Children
    Virginia Sheriff’s Institute
    Virginia Association of Area Associations on Aging
    Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police
    Virginia Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators
    Virginia Coalition of Private Provider Associations