California Enrollment in Kids’ Insurance Program Could Drop
President Bush's fiscal year 2008 budget proposal would cause nearly 250,000 California children to lose health insurance through Healthy Families, the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, KPBS' "KPBS News" reports (Goldberg, "KPBS News," KPBS, 2/14).
In his FY 2008 budget proposal, Bush said he wanted to bring SCHIP back to its "original objective" by only covering children in families with annual incomes of up to 200% of the federal poverty level, limiting eligibility of parents and prohibiting coverage of childless adults.
Sixteen states currently cover children and their parents at levels above the federal guidelines (California Healthline, 2/13). In California, families with incomes of up to 250% of the federal poverty level are eligible for Healthy Families.
About 248,000 children currently enrolled in Healthy Families would lose coverage if Bush's proposal were approved by Congress, according to the Center for Health Policy Research. An additional 37,000 children who currently are eligible for Healthy Families but not enrolled would become ineligible under the budget proposal, the center said (Center for Health Policy Research release, 2/14).
Bush said the tighter income limits are necessary to reign in spending.
The KPBS News segment includes comments from Shana Lavarreda, a researcher at the center ("KPBS News," KPBS, 2/14).
A transcript and audio of the segment are available online.