WithinReach 2014 Legislative Priorities
At WithinReach, we believe that healthy, resilient families make strong communities. Driven by the goal of breaking down barriers that prevent families from living healthy lives, WithinReach strives to work with coalitions and partner organizations to advocate for, educate about, and support key issues that relate to our five key focus areas: breastfeeding, health care access, child development, immunizations, and food access.
When you look at the WithinReach Theory of Change, you see that we look to impact these five key areas through engaging with community partners, families, and influencers. It is the influencers where we have some of the greatest potential to make widespread change throughout Washington State. There is incredible opportunity to pass laws and fund programs that are critical to healthy families.
For 25 years, we have worked to identify and resolve the most pressing concerns facing vulnerable children and families. It is this extensive experience that makes us experts on what families need to be healthy. We are a trusted resource not only directly for those families, but also for the decision makers who decide which laws to pass and what programs to fund. It is because of our deep knowledge that it is important that we work with decision makers to influence public policies and elevate the issues that matter most to Washington families.
With this in mind, the WithinReach 2014 legislative priorities are as follows:
Apple Health for Kids Hotline
Apple Health for Kids streamlines applications for children’s free or low-cost health insurance. The Hotline for Apple Health for Kids is a vital tool for families that provides the assistance they need when applying for coverage for their children. We support ongoing funding for the Apple Health for Kids Hotline.
Breastfeeding is an important predictor of the health of both a mom and her baby, including reducing the risk of diseases such as leukemia and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). While nine out of ten babies in Washington begin life breastfeeding, just 20% of babies are fed only breast milk for the recommended six months. We advocate for Breastfeeding-Friendly Washington designations that encourage and recognize hospitals, health care providers, workplaces, and child care centers who take steps to support breastfeeding.
Affordable Care Act Apple Health Outreach
The Affordable Care Act has already resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of insured people in Washington. However, there remains a large population of people who are not aware of the new coverage options available. Additionally, there is a large knowledge gap around the new renewal process for existing Medicaid, which has resulted in many families being at risk for dropped coverage. We support funding for an outreach campaign for individuals and families about the new coverage options available and the new process for Medicaid renewals.