Contra Costa County Officials Introduce Proposal To Restore Children’s Health Programs After Budget Reductions
Contra Costa County officials yesterday introduced a proposal that would restore some health programs for children younger than age five that the county Board of Supervisors eliminated in a $1 billion fiscal year 2002-2003 budget plan approved last month, the Contra Costa Times reports. In August, the county Board of Supervisors eliminated the health programs for young children to help cover an estimated $6.5 million budget deficit, the Times reports. The "Kids Plus" proposal that county officials introduced yesterday would establish a partnership between the county Health Services Department and the county Children and Families Commission, which the county funds with Proposition 10 cigarette tax revenue. The proposal would establish a "centralized registry" for young children to provide a "seamless system of care." Under the proposal, young children and their families would have access to several services, such as immunization programs, mental health services, home visits for high-risk pregnant women and comprehensive prenatal care. At a commission meeting yesterday, County Public Health Director Dr. Wendel Brunner asked the agency for $5 million over two years to launch the Kids Plus proposal. Brunner said that the proposal would establish a "comprehensive system not bound or restricted by the strict limits imposed by state and federal funds," the Times reports. The commission has sent the proposal to staff members and will hear their response at a future meeting (Felsenfeld, Contra Costa Times, 9/10).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.