EVER SEEN CITY HALL WRAPPED IN THOUSANDS OF POSTCARDS?
Neither have we. That's why you should join us on May 26 at 8 AM at City Hall.
Come out and show your support as we wrap City Hall with the thousands of postcards of people like you who support passing this bill. Not to mention have fun doing something that's never been done before!
To register please visit: http://earnedsickdayspostcards.eventbrite.com/.
For more information about this event contact Jasmine Rivera of ACTION United at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Come be part of this historic event!
JOIN OUR TWITTER RALLY AND BLOG CARNIVAL FOR PAID SICK DAYS IN PHILADELPHIA
This week, MomsRising will be working with the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces to hold a "blog carnival" for paid sick days.
What's a blog carnival? A blog carnival is a collection of blogposts on one topic. It brings together the latest research, analysis and personal reflection and stories to offer readers and decision makers an easy reference on the topic. It also offers authors a wider readership for their work, and additional social media promotion to spread the word farther together than we could alone.
You can join by emailing Anita at email@example.com.
And, on May 25, you can also join our Twitter rally as we reach out to City Councilmembers and Mayor Nutter in support of paid sick days. To learn more, tweet us at @EarnedSickTime, or just send out your own tweet with the #paidsickdays hashtag on Wednesday.
Federal Policy Update
HEALTH PROGRAM FUNDING FINALIZED FOR FY2011
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released their congressionally mandated operating plans which finalize health program funding levels for the remainder of FY 2011. In the good news category, we are pleased to report that the Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant has been restored to relatively flat funding of $656 million. The final Title V allocation apparently reflects a small (less than 1 percent) across the board cut applied to most programs.
The plan also confirms funding of $299 million for Title X Family Planning Grants (a $17.4 million cut), a program that was zeroed out in previous House proposals. It makes no change to the mandatory $250 million FY 2011 allocation for the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program or other mandatory Affordable Care Act appropriations.
In the bad news ledger, the plan confirms the following cuts to critical programs: $660 million cut to the base allocation for Community Health Centers (offset by the $1 billion increase in mandatory Affordable Care Act funds); $65 million cut to health professions; $47 million for rural health programs, $48 million for Children's Hospital Graduate Medical Education program and a range of small cuts to many other programs. Details on the entire HRSA operating plan are posted here.
The HHS plan also conveys CDC decisions to apply $740 million in required cuts across nearly all CDC programs. Details on CDC reductions are posted here. Many MCH related programs at CDC are taking small to moderate reductions.
We thank the Senate Appropriations Committee and the White House who fought to restore the House-passed cuts to critical MCH programs. Together we have shown that despite intense budget pressures we can make a strong and effective case for sustained investments in critical MCH programs.
We will need to continue the advocacy since the House FY FY 2012 spending target for Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services programs requires an additional $18 billion in cuts beyond those just enacted. That is expected to translate into double-digit percentage cuts to virtually all federal programs outside defense.
Information provided by the Association Of Maternal And Child Health Programs
ASK CONGRESS TO PASS MATERNAL HEALTH ACCOUNTABILITY ACT
Surprisingly, the U.S. is one of the countries with the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. Hundreds of thousands of women die each year as a result of pregnancy and childbirth. Forty-nine countries around the world do a better job of preventing women from dying from pregnancy-related complications than the U.S. 
Approximately 90% of these deaths are preventable. Despite these terrible maternal outcomes, there are no requirements that states track how many women are dying related to pregnancy and childbirth and why this is happening.
How is this possible in our nation?
Please use this one-click tool to contact your members of Congress and ask them to co-sponsor the Maternal Health Accountability Act, which would give states resources to report and investigate all pregnancy related deaths and to create a panel of medical experts to review the data and recommend new strategies. There are 41 sponsors and none are from PA.
This bill takes a critical first step to preventing so many women from dying from pregnancy-related complications in our nation. After all, without information about why women are dying, we cannot adequately respond.
We can't wait to act. While maternal mortality has decreased by 30% worldwide, the rate of death from pregnancy or childbirth has nearly doubled in the U.S. since 1990. Furthermore, data show that African American women in the U.S. are approximately four times as likely to die during childbirth as Caucasian women even when their health status is similar.
So please take one minute to contact your Members of Congress now - and urge them to sign on to support this common sense legislation on behalf of women and their families. Together, let's use our power to ensure that no woman needlessly dies in childbirth. To find out more, please watch a short trailer of the documentary, "No Woman, No Cry."
Information from Maternity Care Coalition.
State Policy Updates
STATE BILL WOULD INCREASE INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR PREGNANT WOMEN
In Harrisburg, Senator Farnese has introduced SB 1063, important legislation that would dramatically expand access to insurance for pregnant women in our state. Please thank Senator Farnese for being a strong advocate for families. The other Senators in our region who have sponsored this bill so far include: Sen. Rafferty, Stack, Williams, Tartaglione, Washington, Kitchen, and Leach. Please ask your Senator to co-sponsor SB1063.
Pregnancy as a Pre-Existing Condition: Currently, insurers are able to deny a woman's application for insurance citing pregnancy or a previous c-section as a pre-existing condition. This bill would ban this unfair practice.
Availability of Maternity Coverage: Most women are shocked to learn that their insurance does not include maternity. Often, they must purchase maternity coverage as a 'rider' to their regular insurance. This means additional costs that many women cannot afford.
Insurance as the Gateway: Access to health care services is critical to ensuring healthy pregnancies and positive health outcomes for moms and babies. The gateway to care is affordable insurance plans. This bill will guarantee that all insurance plans include maternity coverage. Insurance also allows hospitals to be reimbursed for care they provide. This is an important step in mitigating the ongoing closure of maternity units in Pennsylvania (click to view a video slide show of maternity unit closures over time).
Share your story! Have you been denied insurance because of pregnancy or a previous c-section or had difficulty affording maternity coverage? Share your story with us.
Information from Maternity Care Coalition.
SUPPORT PASSAGE OF INDUSTRY PARTNERSHIP LEGISLATION (SB 552) IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Senate Bill 552 passed the Senate unanimously on Monday, May 9, 2011, and has been referred to the House Labor and Industry Committee. Identical legislation passed through that committee last session and was subsequently passed unanimously by the full House.
IP legislation can become statute after it is passed by the House of Representatives if it is not amended.
Here's how you can help:
Send a letter/e-mail to the members of the House Labor and Industry Committee and ask them to support SB 552 without amendment. (click here for a draft letter)
Send a letter/e-mail to your representatives and ask for an affirmative vote on SB 552 without amendment. (click here for a draft letter)
(click here for a list of the members of the House of Representatives)
SUPPORT EARNED SICK DAYS IN PHILADELPHIA
Everyone Gets Sick—Not Everyone Has the Time to Get Better
2 out of every 5 workers in Philadelphia do NOT have a single paid sick day.
Help Us Tell City Council to Give ALL Workers a Chance to Earn Paid Sick Days.
WHEN: May 26, 2011* 9:00 AM
WHERE: 4th Floor, Philadelphia City Hall
*Please note, if you cannot come on May 26th or if you would like to come out to support this important bill more than once we will also be at Council Session at City Hall on June 2nd and June 9th.
Help us greet City Council members as they enter Session and then help us pack the Hearing Room to show the importance of this bill. You can enter City Hall at the north-east corner and remember to bring a picture ID.
Even if you have paid sick days remember a majority of restaurant, child care, and health care workers do not—the lack of paid sick days in Philadelphia impacts us all!
To learn more about the need for earned sick time, visit http://earnedsickdaysphilly.com or contact Kate Scully at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-543-5022 x255.
EPA PUBLIC HEARING ON MERCURY & AIR TOXICS STANDARDS
WHEN: Tuesday, May 24, 2011, 9 am - 8 pm
WHERE: Westin Philadelphia, 99 S. 17th St at Liberty Place
The EPA will be taking public testimony about the public health impacts of mercury and other toxic emissions from power plants. Pre-register to testify or just attend and show your support for stronger emission standards.
Click here for more information about the hearing.
Information from Physicians for Social Responsibility Philadelphia
MARCELLUS SHALE GAS DRILLING LOBBY DAYS
WHEN: Tuesday, June 7, 2011, 8 am - 4 pm
WHERE: State Capitol, Harrisburg, PA
Deep-well horizontal hydraulic fracturing, the process used to extract gas from the Marcellus Shale, has be shown to pose significant risks to public health and the environment at every stage of the process, from surface and groundwater contamination to air pollution and wellhead explosions. Since 2004, companies have drilled more than 4,300 hydraulic fracturing wells in Pennsylvania and the state has issued permits for thousands more. Incidents and accidents that damage the environment and put public health at risk have already occurred.
Physicians for Social Responsbility is joining with PennEnvironment and other environmental groups to bring physicians, nurses, medical students, and public health experts to Harrisburg to meet with legislators to make sure they know to put the environment and public health first.
You must pre-register by Tuesday, May 31 to secure a meeting with your legislator. Transportation will be arranged if you need it, just check the box when you register.
Can't attend in person? Click here to sign a petition that we'll hand deliver on June 7.
Questions? Email or call Kate Etherington at 215-765-8703.
Information from Physicians for Social Responsibility Philadelphia
CHILD NUTRITION REAUTHORIZATION
Register Now for the Next Child Nutrition Reauthorization Webinar:
“Strategies for Success: Making the Most of the New School Water and Milk Requirements”
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
12:00 – 1 p.m. EST
Click here to register
The Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act requires that free water must be made readily available to children during lunch, and schools must only offer milk consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. USDA recently issued guidance on these provisions.
Join FRAC for a webinar focused on the information, practical models, tools and resources needed to facilitate the successful implementation of the new water and milk requirements. Speakers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, California Endowment, FRAC and other advocacy organizations will provide valuable information and answer your questions.
From our friends at the Food Research and Action Center via the Coalition on Human Needs
PRESIDENT OBAMA CALLS FOR CITIZENS MEDAL NOMINATIONS
The 2011 Presidential Citizens Medal is a chance to recognize the everyday heroes in your community, specifically those who have performed exemplary deeds of service outside of their regular jobs and provided inspiration for others to serve. You can view the full criteria and get started on a nomination HERE
You can watch past recipients tell their stories in a video gallery on WhiteHouse.gov: http://www.whitehouse.gov/citizensmedal/2010. Their stories are powerful reminders of the impact an individual can have on his or her community and on the world.
Information provided by The White House
JOIN PHAN’S CALL SERIES ON TUESDAY NIGHTS FROM 6:00-7:00 PM
The Pennsylvania Health Access Network is constantly tracking what's happening in Harrisburg and DC and can give you the latest information.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011: Young Americans and the Affordable Care Act w. Aaron Smith, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Young Invincibles. Smith will talk us through what the new health care law brings for young Americans including how to stay on your parent's plan and the seldom discussed student loan reforms. Tuesday, May 24th from 6:00-7:00 PM. RSVP HERE.
Click here to learn more about PHAN’s policy call series or to access resources from previous calls. Contact Athena with questions at email@example.com.
SIGN THE PHILADELPHIA EARNED SICK DAYS PETITION
Over 40 percent of Philadelphia's workers don't have the ability to earn paid sick days. So whether it is the need to care for an ailing elder, or a sick child, or for oneself, there are thousands of people facing the choice of caring for themselves or their family and losing their job. Going to work or caring for an ailing family member is a choice no one should have to make. Visit the PathWays PA blog to read one Philadelphia woman’s story about her family’s need for paid sick time.
Click here to sign the petition to Philadelphia City Council if you support Earned Sick Days.
ACTION NEEDED TO PROTECT SNAP BENEFITS
Please sign and share the National, State and Community-based Organizational Letter Opposing Structural Changes and Budget Cuts to SNAP.
FRAC and others in NAHO (National Anti-Hunger Organizations) have written a sign-on letter strongly opposing structural changes (e.g., a block grant) and budget cuts to SNAP. With your help, we hope to get thousands of national, state and local groups to sign on to this letter.
Please sign your organization onto this letter and send it to other organizations on your e-mail list.
Congressional leaders need to hear a strong message from groups around the country that Congress should protect SNAP from budget cuts and structural changes that would weaken its proven ability to help the poorest and hungriest people in the country.
Click here to read and sign the letter.
From our friends at the Food Research and Action Center.
This information provided by PHENND.
FDIC UPDATES MONEY SMART FOR YOUNG ADULTS
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has announced an updated and enhanced version of its instructor-led Money Smart for Young Adults financial education curriculum. Key changes include updates about managing credit cards, avoiding overdrafts and financing higher education.
The revised curriculum also includes instructional enhancements, many suggested by instructors who use Money Smart, such as expanded pre- and post-tests that teachers can use to measure changes in student knowledge or use as quiz questions.
To obtain free copies of the updated curriculum, visit here.
This information provided by our friends at United Way of Southeastern PA.
CAREER FAIR FOR VETERANS IN COATESVILLE:
WHEN: Friday June 10th, 10am-2pm
WHERE: Coatesville VA Medical Center
Building 5, Great Hall
1400 Blackhorse Hill Road
Coatesville, PA 19320
20+ employers will be on hand to meet potential employees - like you. Also, plan to attend one of our free employment workshops: Federal Hiring, Networking and Interviewing Skills.
Presented by Work Restoration, a Veterans Affairs program that connects Veterans with employers.
Click here for the flyer!
From our friends at Work Restoration