This past Tuesday, Governor DeWine announced in a press release that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the U.S. Department of Health approved a plan for the Children’s Health Insurance Program “to enhance and expand Medicaid’s lead abatement program in partnership with the Ohio Department of Health.” The approval comes after Ohio’s operating budget for fiscal years 2020-2021 appropriated $5 million over the biennium to fund lead abatement initiatives for Medicaid and health departments.
The approval of this strategy as a public health initiative is an important step forward for the health and development of Ohio kids, as lead poisoning has such detrimental effects on young children. Lead poisoning affects almost every system in the body and is especially harmful during the first few years of a child’s life, due to the disruption in foundational brain development. This announcement is just one example of Governor DeWine’s efforts to deepen investments in lead abatement, especially in high-risk dwellings. Prior to Tuesday’s CMS approval, several barriers were in place that prevented the Department of Health from effectively administering lead abatement programs. Some of those barriers included home owners being required to pay a cost toward lead abatement projects, requiring homeowners to provide proof of homeowner’s insurance, as well as showing birth certificates of children living in homes to prove their ages. Now, Medicaid will have more flexibility to fund lead abatement programs through the Department of Health, particularly in the homes of pregnant women and children who are eligible for Medicaid (learn more), as well as focus on areas across the state that are “high risk” (learn more). It is also aligned with Governor DeWine’s original plan to combat lead poisoning of young children.
All Children Count! Big Table Event
Check out the Big Table: All Children Count! on Wednesday, August 28th 8:30 - 10:00 am to come together as a community to ensure a complete count of all Ohioans - especially our children - in 2020.
This event will take place at the Martin de Porres Center, 2330 Airport Dr. Columbus, OH 43219.
Encourage Congress to Increase Federal CCDBG Funding
Federal funds play a critical role in supporting early learning in Ohio--about 20% of Ohio's child care funding comes from the federal Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and Congress is currently considering an increase to that fund, which could significantly benefit Ohio's littlest learners. We encourage you to elevate the importance of federal investments in early learning with your US Representative (look up your representative here) and Senators Brown and Portman by sending a letter expressing your support for increased CCDBG funding. Simply download our letter template, fill in the highlighted fields, and drop it in the mail!