Bush Should Follow Through on ‘Promise’ to Help State Amend Healthy Families, Union-Tribune Says
Allowing 170,000 additional parents and 130,000 children to enroll in Healthy Families "makes sense on several levels, not the least of which that it is the humane thing to do," a San Diego Union-Tribune editorial states. California has been waiting seven months for a federal waiver that would allow state officials to enroll additional people in Healthy Families and faces a "challenge" in "clearing the procedural hurdles to get federal approval." In its waiver application, the state has requested permission to allow applicants to deduct from their incomes "a certain amount" of child support they receive, but the federal government is "loath" to allow such a deduction because it fears such a move would "permit the undeserving" to obtain public coverage, the editorial maintains. The waiver would also allow a family of four to pay between $576 and $816 per year for coverage -- "quite a bargain in light of the several thousand dollars it costs to get comparable" private coverage, the editorial adds. However, there could be hope for California's planned expansion, the editorial says, noting that President Bush announced last Saturday that he intends to make it easier for states to qualify people for Medicaid or CHIP programs. The editorial concludes, "President Bush should honor his promise and allow the Healthy Families program to help the working poor" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 8/9).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.