Budget Conference Committee Approves Funds to Expand Healthy Families Coverage to Adults
The conference committee appointed to resolve differences between state budget proposals approved last month by the Assembly and Senate yesterday "split along party lines" to approve $50 million for a proposed expansion of Healthy Families to parents of eligible children, the Los Angeles Times reports. Facing a $23.6 billion state budget deficit, Gov. Gray Davis (D) did not include funds for the expansion in the revised fiscal year 2002-2003 budget proposal that he released last month (Tamaki, Los Angeles Times, 6/12). HHS in January approved the Healthy Families expansion, which would extend coverage to uninsured parents with annual incomes less than 200% of the federal poverty level, or $35,000 for a family of four. HHS estimates that 275,000 parents will qualify for Healthy Families coverage under the expansion, and as a result of parental participation, an additional 25,000 children would likely enroll in the program (California Healthline, 1/25). The conference committee also approved a measure that would reinstate procedures to require adults each fiscal quarter to reverify their Medi-Cal eligibility, a move that could save the state $155 million per year, the Times reports. The Legislature, which "is likely to miss" the June 15 deadline to submit the state budget to Davis for approval, must approve the measures (Los Angeles Times, 6/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.