Davis Offers Stopgap Measure for Child Health and Disability Prevention Program
Gov. Gray Davis (D) Tuesday announced a proposal to transition low-income children currently receiving health screenings and immunizations through the Child Health and Disability Prevention program to "full-blown insurance plans" such as Medi-Cal and Healthy Families, the Contra Costa Times reports. Davis' proposal will appear in a revised budget plan expected to be released in May (Contra Costa Times, 4/3). CHDP, 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). In his original budget proposal, Davis cut the program without allowing for alternative care for some 900,000 children. That proposed cut would have saved the state an estimated $70 million (California Healthline, 2/21). Davis' new proposal would offer children up to six months of "comprehensive state health care ... regardless of whether the child's insurance application is eventually approved." The plan would allow physicians offering preventive care to "immediately provide treatment" and "electronically sign up" low-income children for public health coverage. The Times reports that the proposal would cost between $8 million and $10 million, with an equal amount of matching federal dollars (Contra Costa Times, 4/3).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.