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GOP Health Care Plans Hit Kids Hard

This article is part 15 of 15 in the column Kid's Capital Watch

As Senate Republicans struggle to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, one thing they can agree on is cutting federal spending on Medicaid.

The program was expanded under the ACA as a way of extending coverage to more people, mostly school-age children and adults who previously weren’t eligible. There are 37 million kids, the biggest group of Medicaid enrollees, who would be hit hard by cuts to coverage and benefits.  Read more

Interstate Adoptions Heading for the Fast Lane

This article is part 13 of 15 in the column Kid's Capital Watch

A bipartisan trio of senators are pushing a bill to provide funding and resources for onboarding every state to electronic data—sharing systems for interstate foster placements and adoptions.

The Modernizing Interstate Placement of Children in Foster Care Act would speed up interstate placements, giving children stable homes faster, according to sponsors Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Todd Young (R-IN), and Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY).

Many state foster care agencies rely on outdated paper systems to process and approve foster care and adoption placements, both in-state and across state lines. While states spend thousands of dollars on copying and mailing, a child’s placement in a loving, stable home is delayed Read more

THE BACKLASH OF INCLUSION: The collision of constitutional rights creates an irreconcilable conflict

This article is part 14 of 15 in the column Kid's Capital Watch

Six years ago, Brady Howe and his husband became parents. They adopted their son privately through the Open Adoptions & Family Services agency. Soon, they added the boy’s two older sisters to the family through the foster care system. Their family is an extended one, with birth mother, foster mothers, and grandmothers all actively involved in the kids’ lives.

A non-profit agency Open Adoptions also contracts Read more

Parental Smoking Linked to Childhood Cancer

This article is part 12 of 15 in the column Kid's Capital Watch

Parents’ smoking habits could contribute to the most common form of childhood cancer, according to a new study.

A new study by researchers in California suggests exposure to parents’ tobacco smoke, especially during pregnancy and early childhood, may be linked to gene changes commonly found in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is a blood cancer that occurs Read more

SCOTUS Decision Gives Leverage to Families of Students With Special Needs

This article is part 11 of 15 in the column Kid's Capital Watch

Families of students with special needs won an important legal battle when the Supreme Court sided with the parents of an autistic boy who argued that their school district had failed to provide their son a “free and appropriate education.”

The family sued the Douglas County School District for private school tuition after their son, known as “Drew,” made better progress in a private school than he had in a district public school. His parents said Drew hadn’t been learning adequately because the public school’s individualized education program (IEP) was not ambitious enough. Read more

Study Shows Childhood Emotional Abuse Linked to PTSD and Opioid Abuse in Adults

This article is part 10 of 15 in the column Kid's Capital Watch

Children who experience emotional abuse are more likely to struggle with post-traumatic stress and opioid misuse as adults, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Vermont.

Though previous studies have shown there is a relationship between abuse of all kinds and substance misuse, this is the first to specifically connect emotional abuse and opioid use, the researchers said. Read more

Autism Risk Linked to Women With Herpes During Pregnancy

This article is part 9 of 15 in the column Kid's Capital Watch

A new study published in MSphere, the journal of the American Society for Microbiology, found that women who suffered from an active genital herpes infection during pregnancy were twice as likely as those without the STD to give birth to a child who would become autistic.

The findings are preliminary, but the discovery may mean researchers have cracked open the door so that one day physicians will be able to treat, or even stop, some cases of autism before they manifest—while the child is still in the womb. Read more

Children’s Bill of Rights Fight in California Holds Significance for Nation

This article is part 8 of 15 in the column Kid's Capital Watch

A Children’s Bill of Rights measure is slowly weaving its way into the California legislature, sparking heated discussions between those who see it as a crucial safety net for neglected, abused, and poverty-stricken youths and those who say it will result in government control of parents and unconstitutional intrusion into family affairs.

What’s more, a handful of congressional members have been pressing similar bills of rights for the nation’s children, and the fate of this California measure could signal what’s looming ahead for the country as a whole. Read more

Bipartisan “Shame Act” Would Publish Names, Photos of Child-Sex Buyers

This article is part 7 of 15 in the column Kid's Capital Watch

A bipartisan bill brought forth by Republican Rep. Ted Poe of Texas and Democrat Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York would give judges the legal power to order the publication of names and photographs of those found guilty of buying sex from sex-trafficking victims.

Called the Shame Act of 2017, H.R. 440 simply amends existing child sex-trafficking law to allow the courts to order attorneys general to release to the public names and pictures of those convicted under the code. The basic idea is captured in the name of the act—to add an element of public shaming to the sentence in hopes would-be perpetrators might think twice. Read more

Republicans Press Repeal of Gun-Free School Zones Act

This article is part 6 of 15 in the column Kid's Capital Watch

A handful of Republicans have signed on to a bill that would repeal portions of the 1990 Gun-Free Schools Zones Act, saying the federally imposed ban on carrying firearms within a certain distance of school campuses is “ineffective” and nonsensical.

The bill, H.R. 34, called the Safe Students Act, was introduced by Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie earlier this month. It’s a near carbon copy of the bill that Ron Paul, ex-congressman from Texas, tried to pass several years ago.

“Gun-free school zones are ineffective,” Massie said. “They make people less safe by inviting criminals into target-rich, no-risk environments. Gun-free zones prevent law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves, and create vulnerable populations that are targeted by criminals.” Read more

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