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Showing posts from September, 2009

PathWays PA Special Budget Alert - September 30, 2009

Sunday, October 3rd (which is over three months after the constitutionally mandated deadline) is the new deadline set by Governor Rendell for a final budget. The House and Senate are scheduled to resume voting sessions today and they plan to keep working until there is a budget, but many call the Sunday deadline the best-case scenario.

While there may be an agreement and a new tentative deadline, until a budget is passed and signed, counties, non-profits, schools, hospitals, and many other organizations will continue to struggle to make ends meet without funding.

As we wait for a signed budget, preschools and other pre-kindergarten programs continue to shut their doors, along with child care centers and many other state programs. If you work for one of these organizations or if the services you rely on have been cut, please tell your story! Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, or tell your story to PathWays PA. We will share these stories on our blog and in our e-new…

Prevent the Most Common Chronic Disease for Children: Give Them Dental Care

The most common chronic disease among children is something that can be prevented with a toothbrush, floss, and a visit to the dentist. More than three quarters of adolescents are suffering from tooth decay, yet a rising number of children are not going to the dentist and there is little push to include dental care in current health care reform.

Tooth decay can be very painful for children and leads to expensive procedures from the filling of cavities to root canals. When minor tooth decay and dental problems are ignored or untreated, they lead to more painful and expensive procedures, and worse. Not long ago, a 12-year-old boy died from the failure to treat a dental infection, which spread to his brain. A routine $80 extraction may have saved his life, but without insurance, the boy did not receive care.

Insurance coverage is critical to obtaining dental care. A survey from the Public Health Management Corporation found that in Southeastern Pennsylvania, 40 percent of children wi…

Reach Out to the Caregivers in Your Life

On October 24, the Center for Family Caregivers is celebrating "Job Jar" Day, a day to reach out to caregivers with offers to help around the house and provide some care of your own.

Why is "Job Jar" day so important? In the past year, one-third of workers reported caring for an older family member. 34 million Americans act as caregivers for older relatives, and that number is likely to grow as more adults face chronic disease in their lifetimes. Additionally, many other caregivers are parents and family members caring for seriously ill or disabled children. Abaout 200,000 families have unmet respite care needs in the US.

Caregiving offers wonderful rewards, but is also a demanding process. Those providing care may be responsible for not just physical assistance but also financial planning, healthcare advocacy, transportation, and many other roles. As they work to provide day-to-day care, some of the special projects that need to be done may fall by the wayside.

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: September 28, 2009

PA Budget

It is nearly October and Pennsylvania is still without a final budget. While there may be an agreement in the works, until a budget is passed and signed, counties, non-profits, schools, hospitals, and many other organizations will continue to struggle to make ends meet without funding.

Over a week ago, Governor Rendell held a press conference to announce his support of a modified version of the "three-caucus" budget proposal. While details are still emerging, it is expected that the budget will include:
$27.9 billion in spending - this is $400 million less in spending than in the last fiscal year. Without federal stimulus dollars, the budget would be about $2 billion less than last year. Increased business taxes and cigarette tax rates (and the expansion of the cigarette tax to cigarillos) Extension of the sales tax to theater and concert tickets Table games at casinos Increased education spending of about $300 millionPlease continue to visit our PathWays PA Policy…

No Budget Still Means No Funding

While a compromise on the budget was announced last week, the details of that agreement are still being worked out and some legislators claim that it will at least be another week until the state budget is complete.

While legislators work on the compromise budget, non-profit organizations, schools, hospitals, child care centers, and so many more continue to go without necessary and critical funding.
Last week, school districts missed another subsidy payment increasing the strain on education since the budget impasse began. County agencies are being forced to lay off hard working employees, while the need for their services increases. Non-profit organizations are still cutting services, laying off employees, and some are even closing their doors forcing many clients to go without critical services. We need to keep reminding our legislators that it is crucial for Pennsylvania to have a responsible budget quickly and that state funding must begin to immediately flow to those who have be…

A Reminder to G20 Participants: Don’t Forget Women

This week, Pittsburgh is home to the G-20, where world leaders are meeting to discuss how to repair the global economy. While they create a plan to end the current economic crisis, it is critical that any plan includes women and girls.

Women make up to 60 percent of the global workforce, yet they are also the majority of the world’s poor and illiterate. During a recession, women are disproportionately impacted because they are more likely to be in vulnerable jobs, underemployed, and have less financial control over financial resources. Even women in senior positions at large corporations are being adversely affected – while 6 percent of men in senior positions have lost their jobs during this recession, 19 percent of women have.

The city of Pittsburgh is a great example of both the inequality women face (especially in a recession) as well as the positive responses that are possible. While Pittsburgh has been called a symbol of economic recovery, it also has one of the worst gender …

Census Data: 1 in 10 Pennsylvanians Lacked Health Insurance in 2008

2009 marks the first time the Census has tracked and released local and regional data on health insurance coverage as part of its American Community Survey. According to the data, 1.15 million Pennsylvanians, or 9.4 percent of the population, lacked health insurance in 2008.

Reading and Allentown had the highest percentage of people without insurance (17.1 percent and 17.5 percent respectively), while Philadelphia has the most individuals without insurance, 200,243. In other words, one out of every six people in Pennsylvania without insurance is from Philadelphia.

However, the data shows that the uninsured are not only found in Philadelphia. Several rural communities, especially Crawford, Lawrence, and Lancaster, also saw high rates of uninsured.

Pennsylvania’s overall percentage of uninsured is below the national rate of 15.1 percent, which is largely due to Pennsylvania’s success with CHIP and the large population of senior citizens receiving Medicare. Pennsylvania also has a high …

PathWays PA Special Budget Alert - September 23, 2009

There may be an agreement but until a budget is passed and signed, counties, non-profits, schools, hospitals, and many other organizations will continue to struggle to make ends meet without funding.

As we wait for a signed budget, preschools and other pre-kindergarten programs continue to shut their doors, along with child care centers and many other state programs. If you work for one of these organizations or if the services you rely on have been cut, please tell your story! Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, or tell your story to PathWays PA. We will share these stories on our blog and in our e-newsletters.

While there is much hope that we have reached the end of the budget impasse, there are no guarantees that this is the final version. Please continue to contact legislators and remind them of the programs that are important to Pennsylvania’s families, like the Industry Partnerships, Child Care Works, and Adult Education, and the need for funds to be distribu…

Even with Insurance, People Fighting Cancer are also Fighting to Survive Financially

The rising cost of health care has left many Americans either without insurance or with limited insurance coverage. This is especially a problem for the 11 million Americans currently fighting cancer, whose main concern should be fighting the disease, not figuring out how to pay for treatment.

Cancer affects so many Americans. Nearly one out of every two Americans born today will be diagnosed with a form of cancer at some point in their life. Without health care reform, even those individuals with insurance will struggle financially to pay for their life saving treatments.
41 percent of non-elderly adults have either accumulated medical debt or had difficulty paying medical bills – 61 percent of those individuals had insurance25 percent of individuals with cancer report using all or most of their savings as a result of the cost of treating their cancer – 22 percent of those with insurance report the same5 percent of cancer patients with insurance report delaying treatment or deciding …

PathWays PA Job Postings - 9/22/09

Accounts Payable/Accounts Receivable Clerk

Busy Delco non-profit seeks FT A/P, A/R clerk. Experience required. Friendly, flexible atmosphere. Fax resume and salary requirements to 610.328.2807
Attn: JR/LD


Career Coach & Healthcare Employment Specialist

To guide entry-level healthcare workers in building a career/education plan. Career Coach will assist clients with accessing public benefits and resources. Preferred candidate will be familiar with higher education systems and health care workforce. Must have minimum BA in Education, Public Health, Urban Policy, Social Work or related field. Computer skills in MS Office; valid driver’s license and reliable independent transportation required. Please fax resumes to: LD/LK 610-543-6483.


Manager, Community Financial Education, Outreach, and Tax Program

This position is based in Delaware County (Holmes). Strong organizational and interpersonal skills, fluency with data management and reporting required. Need strong written and oral co…

Why Women Can Excel in Nontraditional Jobs

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An article published last week on Forbes.com "mythbusts" the idea that woman can't do math and science by pointing out that women executives with science degrees are leading some of the largest companies in the world. The article points out that women who earn Ph. D.s in science are as likely as their male counterparts to find teaching positions, promotions, and tenure at major universities. It also notes that girls now have academic parity with boys when it comes to math.

The question to ask, really, is when did we decide that women couldn't excel at math and science, as well as the nontraditional jobs that go with them? Throughout our history, women have excelled in performing heavy labor on a farm, in the fields, and in the home. During WWII, Rosie the Riveter became well known as the symbol of working women, and is held up as an example even today. Math and science skills are important in every job, and men are just as likely as women to need additional job t…

Gender Should Not Be a Factor in Ending Domestic Violence

In Pennsylvania, lawmakers spent some time last week debating whether or not to designate the month of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month under a bill that Representative John Siptroth brings to the floor each year. While it was introduced as a “noncontroversial resolution,” the bill gained its share of controversy on Thursday when Representative Daryl Metcalfe blocked the bill, declaring it had a “homosexual agenda.” When asked later, the Representative stated that he had a problem with a phrase in the resolution that read, “one in six women and one in 33 men have experienced an attempted or completed rape."

While most of us think of domestic violence as occurring to women, this incident brings home the fact that men also suffer as victims of domestic violence – from female and male partners. What matters in the end is not the gender of the person committing the violence or the gender of the victim – what matters is that over 2 million women and men are physically as…

Census is a Grim Reminder of the Need for Health Care Reform

According to the Census Bureau, the number of Americans living in poverty increased by nearly 2.6 million in 2008, to a total of 39.8 million, which is the highest number of people living in poverty since 1960. With more individuals in poverty, less are able to pay the expensive cost of health insurance and the number of people without health insurance grew to 46.3 million.
From 2000 to 2008, the proportion without insurance rose from 13.7 to 15.4 percent. The numbers of uninsured working age adults (18-64 years old) increased from 19.6 percent to 20.3 percent between 2007 and 2008, an increase of more than 1.5 million people. One glimmer or good news in the data is that the total number of uninsured children dropped from 11 percent to 9.9 percent. This is because many children are now eligible for public insurance programs such as CHIP and Medicaid. Even though evidence shows that these programs are working by providing insurance for those who were previously uninsured they may be …

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: September 21, 2009

PA Budget Breakthrough!

Over the weekend, Governor Rendell held a press conference to announce his support of a modified version of the "three-caucus" budget proposal that has been making the rounds since September 10. While details are still emerging, it is expected that the budget will include:
$27.9 billion in spending - this is $400 million less in spending than in the last fiscal year. Without federal stimulus dollars, the budget would be about $2 billion less than last year. Increased business taxes and cigarette tax rates (and the expansion of the cigarette tax to cigarillos) Extension of the sales tax to theater and concert tickets Table games at casinos Increased education spending of about $300 millionThis version of the budget is expected to be debated next week in the House and Senate, with possible passage by the end of the week (though it will more likely continue into the week of September 28). Once the budget is passed, Governor Rendell noted that the State …

PathWays PA Special Budget Alert - September 19, 2009

It is now day 80 of the budget impasse, and there has been a breakthrough. Although not everyone is on board, Governor Rendell last night held a press conference to announce his support of a modified version of the “three-caucus” budget that has been making the rounds since September 10. While details are still emerging, it is expected that the budget will include:

$27.9 billion in spending – this is $400 million less in spending than in the last fiscal year. Without federal stimulus dollars, the budget would be about $2 billion less than last year.Increased business taxes and cigarette tax rates (and the expansion of the cigarette tax to cigarillos)Extension of the sales tax to theater and concert ticketsTable games at casinosIncreased education spending of about $300 million
This version of the budget is expected to be debated next week in the House and Senate, with possible passage by the end of the week (though it will more likely continue into the week of September 28). Once th…

Few Details, but Governor Rendell is on Board with a Budget

We don't have many details (the Governor said he wants senators and representatives to hear it first) but in an 8 PM press conference, the Governor has said he is on board with a budget with a spend number "close to" the original three-caucus budget (around $27.9 billion). Some highlights:

According to Governor Rendell, the budget meets his commitment to education.The budget will spend $400 million less than last year's budget. Without federal stimulus dollars, it spends $2 billion less.Governor Rendell apologized for the "angst and concern" Pennsylvanians have been subjected to and for the 79-day delay.Senator Pileggi said the budget was a "remarkable feat" in this recession.Speaker McCall said that this was a budget deal involving "winners and survivors."
"Now that the agreement is reached in principle, there is a fair amount of nuts and bolts that need to go on... it is our hope that we will be working through the weekend... next …

Some Recent PA Budget Stories

PathWays PA Special Budget Alert - September 16, 2009

A possible compromise, but is it the right compromise for Pennsylvania? While we are the only state without a budget and many are in desperate need of state funding, it is critical that we ensure the final budget is one that works for Pennsylvania. If you are looking for a comparison of some of the line items in the three-caucus proposal please see the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center's website.

The latest proposal, expected to be at a funding level of $27.9 billion, is said to raise $1.2 billion in what the leaders are calling "recurring revenue" and $2.1 billion in one-time revenue sources. New revenues sources are to come from the combination of a hike on the tax on cigarettes, legalization of casino table games, and higher taxes on businesses. While the proposal increases education funding by $300 million many other programs are facing cuts, like Pre-K Counts, CHIP, and Adult and Family Literacy.

As we wait for a budget, preschools and other pre-kindergarten p…