APHA Takes Action on Medicaid, Nutrition
Krisberg, Kim, The Nation's Health
APHA has taken action on a number of other public health issues in recent months, including Medicaid enrollment, nutrition in schools, abstinence-only education and the rising numbers of uninsured. Among its actions, APHA:
* expressed concern about a new Medicaid requirement that requires all new applicants to provide proof of U.S. citizenship. As a member of the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations, APHA signed onto a June letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Mark McClellan, explaining that the requirement, which went into effect July 1, could be "potentially disastrous to many seniors, people who suffer from Alzheimer's or dementia and those in long-term care facilities." Also, requiring proof of citizenship may "disproportionately affect older African Americans who were not permitted to be born in a hospital and were never issued a birth certificate." The letter urges McClellan to ensure implementation of the new role allows as many acceptable ways to prove citizenship as possible so that people do not lose needed health benefits.
* urged members of the Institute of Medicine's Committee on Nutrition Standards for Food in Schools to recommend that sports drinks not be sold or served in schools during the school day. As part of a letter to committee members, APHA and fellow signers noted that while sports drinks are often lower in calories than sodas, "they are similar to diluted soft drinks." According to the letter, the sale of sports drinks in schools has increased more than any other beverage, going up 70 percent between 2002 and 2004. …