Contra Costa County Officials Urge State Lawmakers to Avoid Planned Budget Reductions for Child Health Program
Contra Costa County officials have asked state lawmakers not to reduce funding for a program that provides preventive care for uninsured children, the Contra Costa Times reports. To offset a projected $12 billion budget shortfall, Gov. Gray Davis (D) has proposed a $122 million reduction for the Child Health and Disability Prevention Program in his fiscal year 2003 budget proposal (Felsenfeld, Contra Costa County, 3/24). The program, established in 1973, provides childhood vaccinations, physical examinations, dental care and some laboratory tests at no charge to children in families with annual incomes up to 200% of the federal poverty level. Individual counties determine the level of coverage for prescription drugs and medical treatment under the program (California Healthline, 2/22). More than 13,000 Contra Costa County children participated in the program in FY 1999-2000, according to Paula Hines, the county's CHDP deputy director. The state provided the county with $1.17 million that year to help cover the cost. In response to the proposed state budget reductions for CHDP, the county Public and Environmental Health Advisory Board last week sent a letter to state lawmakers "urging continued funding for the program." Dr. William Walker, director of the county Health Services Department, said, "Losing CHDP is a major hit, but we're anticipating this is just the beginning. There could be much deeper cuts ahead" (Contra Costa Times, 3/24).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.