Chronicle Praises Santa Clara County Initiative to Cover Uninsured Children
While "untold millions of children are not getting government-subsidized health care because of their immigration status or because their parents are not aware such help is available," a San Francisco Chronicle editorial applauds Santa Clara County for seeing the "need to fill in the gap left by the state and federal governments." The editorial notes that enrollment in Healthy Families "got off to a slow start" because of its "overly bureaucratic enrollment process," limited outreach efforts and lengthy application. Santa Clara County, however, has dedicated $3 million of its share of the state's tobacco settlement to a program that aims to "find and help the estimated 70,000" uninsured children in the county (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/10). The plan, known as the Children's Health Initiative, would provide coverage for children in families with incomes up to three times the federal poverty level, or about $54,000 for a family of four (California Healthline, 12/6/00). The editorial states that San Francisco may soon follow suit, noting that Mayor Willie Brown's (D) recently announced budget includes $3 million to provide health insurance to children who "fall through the gaps." But San Francisco, which has an estimated 9,000 uninsured children, "does not approach Santa Clara County in the magnitude of its challenge," the editorial notes. The editorial concludes, "Santa Clara County should be commended for leading the way in making this investment in children's health. ... San Francisco should do no less for its children" (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/10).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.