Action Needed on Universal Coverage Proposals
"[T]aking clear and strong action to set a deadline for universal health care coverage" for California children "will draw others toward our goal in the debate," Assembly member John Laird (D-Santa Cruz) writes in a San Jose Mercury News opinion piece.
According to Laird, an Assembly plan to provide universal health care coverage to California children by 2008 would allocate funds to the Department of Health Services "to set up the administrative infrastructure to make universal access a reality."
The proposal would provide "$40 million for the first step (to be matched by applying counties) to undo" enrollment caps on Children's Health Initiative programs" and expand services, Laird writes, adding, "Funds for this purpose will quite likely enable the state to draw down federal money on a dollar-for-dollar basis."
The bills would reduce emergency department visits and yield "better health," a situation that will "reduce costs for everyone," Laird writes (Laird, San Jose Mercury News, 5/25).