HEALTHY FAMILIES: Davis Seeks to Retain Program Funding
Trying to retain $590 million in federal funding for California's Healthy Families CHIP, Gov. Gray Davis (D) has written a letter to President Clinton proposing that the state be allowed to keep the money on the grounds that it be used to expand the Healthy Families program to cover parents of low-income, uninsured children, the Los Angeles Times reports. Since California, like a majority of states, has failed to spend most of the federal money earmarked for CHIP, it is scheduled to return the funds, which will be distributed to the 10 states that used their full allotments of CHIP money (see story 9). Now, Davis is proposing that the Healthy Families program be expanded to cover the parents of uninsured children, a move he also hopes will help the program reach more children. Healthy Families currently provides coverage to 340,000 children, far fewer than lawmakers had hoped. In his letter to Clinton, Davis wrote, "It is imperative that California retains access" to the funds while it formally applies for a waiver for the program expansion. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) is also behind the effort, and has organized a group of Congress members to seek an extension (9/23).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.