CWA Flash E-Newsletter - September 5, 2017
In This Issue:
Quick Links:
Upcoming Training & Conferences
Job Listings
Breastfeeding Advocacy
Our Projects:
WIC Can Help logo

Kids Need Good Homes
Decent housing supports child development, education, mental and physical health, and more.  WIC Can Help  by referring families to local resources for keeping a roof over their heads.
WWW logo

Don't Skip Breakfast!
Many of us grab coffee and a quick bite in the morning, or skip breakfast entirely, with dinner as the largest meal of the day. But a growing body of research on weight and health suggests that eating the bulk of our calories in the morning may be the way to go!
Connect With Us!
Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook, follow us on  Twitter and
Shopping at Amazon?
AmazonSmile logo
Support CWA without spending anything extra by using AmazonSmile!
Did someone share this with you? Sign up here to get the CWA Flash directly!
Policy Updates
Congress: Much to Do
This week members of Congress return to Washington, with priorities to raise the federal debt ceiling to prevent a default, avoid a shutdown, and pass a spending bill for FY 2018. They are expected to pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) or a combination Continuing Resolution and Omnibus appropriations bill (CRomnibus), as Congress has not made significant progress towards passing individual appropriations bills (in a "normal" appropriations process there are twelve bills). The deadline for both of these steps is September 29th. The situation is exceptionally complicated. Funding for Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts and today's announcement of the end of the DACA program could figure into the negotiations. Some Congressional members may want to engage in the ACA repeal fight, but bi-partisan fixes are being encouraged. President Trump remains reticent to sign a bill that does not include funding for the border wall between the US and Mexico. Some Congressional Republicans have called for cuts in domestic discretionary funding as part of any spending bill, though leadership has indicated a focus on moving forward with a "clean" bill in a bipartisan way. ACTION: Read this commentary from Center for Budget and Policy Priorities on the complicated funding actions ahead.
State Update
Last week was an eventful week in the CA legislature. Several CWA bills have moved through committees. SB 63 (Jackson) , which would expand California's parental leave policies, was passed through Assembly Approps. and is now on the Assembly floor. AB 1250 (Jones-Sawyer) , which would impact the ability of local governments to contract with nonprofits and which CWA opposes, passed through Senate Approps. with a motion to amend and be re-referred to the Rules committee. Except for Rules Committee, all bills have moved to Floor Sessions through Sept 15. To follow the progress of these bills and others on CWA's bill monitor list, check here .
Speak Up on DACA
The Trump Administration, led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, announced today an end to the DACA program , despite support for the program and acknowledgement of the benefits expressed by Dems, Reps and the business and education communities. Many Californians will be impacted by this act, and State Senator de Leόn has spoken up to take state action. Congress has an opportunity to act, but it must be quick - by early 2018. ACTION: Call your Congressperson today at 202-224-3121 and state your concern that DACA be preserved and tell them that you stand with Dreamers and against this shameful, cruel decision. Urge them to pass the Dream Act of 2017 with no amendments, as soon as possible.
Threatened Cost-Sharing Reductions to ACA
According to a recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis , gross premiums for some insurance plans purchased through the healthcare marketplace could be 20 percent higher in 2018 and 25 percent higher by 2020 if cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments to insurers are terminated after December 2017. Under the ACA, insurance companies must offer plans with reduced deductibles, copayments, and other means of cost sharing to income-eligible people who purchase these plans through government healthcare exchanges. In turn, insurers receive CSR payments from the federal government to cover these costs. The Trump administration has threatened to stop the CSR payments to undermine the ACA, considering the recent failure of Congress to repeal and replace the healthcare legislation. For most people obtaining insurance through government-run health exchanges, any increase in insurance premiums likely would be offset by Premium Tax Credits (PTCs) available through the ACA. However, if CSR payments end after 2017, the CBO estimates an increase to the federal deficit of $194 billion from 2017 through 2026 to cover the additional costs of PTCs. The CBO also expects insurers to withdraw from the healthcare exchanges in 2018 given the market uncertainty concerning CSR payments.

CWA News
Fires and Flooding: WIC is There
Our thoughts are with the people of Texas and Louisiana as they start the years-long recovery process from the largest storm in recorded history. We hope for speedy and equitable processes , as past disaster relief efforts have often overlooked the needs of low-income neighborhoods. Wild fires are also raging across many states, and are an annual threat and cost for California. We sadly report that last week, Arina Erwin, Trinity County WIC Director, lost her home in a fast-moving wild fire. Our thoughts are with her and her husband in their recovery. A fund  has been set up in their name. We salute the WIC employees who step up in all kinds of natural disaster and hardship to take care of their communities.
CWA Education Events: Next Month Already!
Have you registered yet for our  Fall Education Events in Sacramento? Check out the updated agenda for each event and invite your colleagues! Our  CWA Education Day , all day on October 4, provides a chance to earn continuing education credit, network with WIC colleagues, and learn interactively about how WIC can link together with other food and health organizations within communities, and about impactful leadership practices. Making Capitol Visits  (October 2) is a great way to share information with state decision makers about how WIC serves young women and their families in your community. ACTION: Register online by Steptember 22 for both Education Events and state meetings. 
September Webinars Coming Up!
Attend one - or all three - of our free webinars, Thursdays at noon, on a variety of topics. Choose from cannabis law updates on September 7, happiness at work on September 21, or lactation accommodation on September 28. For a nominal fee, dietetics and lactation professionals can earn continuing education credit. ACTION: Read last week's special alert for details or register here .

Our Top News Picks
Sugars in Breastmilk Can Stop Growth of Strep
A new study, from UC San Diego School of Medicine and the Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation Mother-Milk-Infant Center of Research Excellence 
found that sugars found in breast milk (human milk oligosaccharides, or HMOs) can directly inhibit the growth of group B  Streptococcus (GBS). The results of this study further add to our understanding of the antimicrobial benefits of human milk and how breastfeeding offers protection against infections. Researchers had previously shown that HMOs regulate immune response in order to prevent e.coli from invading bladder cells . Researchers also found that HMOs acted synergistically with common antibiotics to reduce the inhibitory dose of vancomycin and ciprofloxacin, leading them to believe that there may be therapeutic uses for HMOs.
Public Awareness Can Protect Medicaid
Medicaid directors are seeing a newfound public awareness and appreciation of the safety-net health insurance program in the wake of failed efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Experts feel that with the outpouring of support, states may now have the leverage to push bids to bolster the program to be more value-driven, holistic, and better coordinated for the most vulnerable beneficiaries. Recent Republican proposals to cap federal Medicaid spending would have stripped the program of around $834 billion, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates. Medicaid covers more than 70 million people, spends most of its budget (around 80 percent) on seniors, the disabled, long-term care, and children, including almost half of U.S. childbirths. Experts say that the response to the possible Medicaid overhaul was impressive, and that personal testimonies helped drive support.
States Move to Protect/Restrict Coverage for Abortion
In light of the uncertainty surrounding the future of the Affordable Care Act, some states are taking strong positions on coverage of abortion to protect their position regardless of how federal healthcare law changes. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has signed  a bill that prohibits   insurers in individual and employer plans from covering abortion unless a woman's life is in danger, meaning that women who want coverage would have to buy a supplemental rider to their plan. The same day, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed a  bill that requires   health plans to cover reproductive health services with no out-of-pocket costs to consumers, including contraceptives and abortion. Oregon joins two other states, New York and California , in requiring nearly all health plans to cover abortion services. The Affordable Care Act brought attention to the issue of coverage for abortion in private insurance, and permitted states to prohibit  plans offered on the marketplaces from covering abortion - and so far ten states have. Reproductive rights advocates are concerned that women who may need abortion coverage may not be able to get it in the form of an individual rider, as relatively few plans offer such riders . The ACA may have spurred Oregon's new law as well, since there is a sense of urgency in some states to protect coverage before changes in federal law can be made - the Trump administration is expected to release a revised rule  soon that would roll back ACA provisions requiring most insurers to cover contraceptives without cost-sharing.
Swapping Sugar With Starch Leads to Less Fatty Liver in Kids
Findings published in the journal Gastroenterology indicate that just nine days of cutting out fructose - sugar found in soft drinks, fruit juices and most processed foods - led to a twenty percent drop in liver fat , which is linked to Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, in adolescents. The prevalence of fatty liver disease in adolescents has more than doubled in the past 20 years, and sugar consumption among Latino and African-American teens is about 50 percent higher than those of whites and Asians. Participants in the study had the calories from fructose in their diets replaced with glucose-rich, starchy foods. The researchers noted that a new model projecting the health and cost benefits of reducing sugar consumption in the U.S. found that a 20 percent drop in fructose consumption would cut the prevalence of a range of metabolic diseases by about 5 percent, saving the country $10 billion annually in medical costs.

Healthy People 2030 Public Comment Period Open!
The online  public comment period for Healthy People 2030 has opened! The Department of Health and Human Service's Healthy People team is requesting comments on the proposed Healthy People 2030 vision, mission, foundational principles, plan of action, and overarching goals. Individuals and organizations are invited to submit comments on the proposed framework by September 29.
Multilingual Health Printables
The National Library of Medicine has released HealthReach , a national collaborative partnership to create quality multilingual, multicultural public health information for those working with or providing care to individuals with limited English proficiency. The resource features printable handouts as well as video and audio resources, and covers hundreds of topics , including breastfeeding, pregnancy and postpartum, contraception, and nutrition. 

California WIC Association
3120 Freeboard Dr., Suite 101, West Sacramento, CA 95691

Phone: 916-572-0700; Fax: 916-572-0760