HEALTHY FAMILIES: Mercury News Urges More Outreach
An editorial in today's San Jose Mercury News calls on state officials to boost outreach efforts for Healthy Families, noting that at the current rate of enrollment, the state will reach only half of its target for the first year. Only 55,000 children have been enrolled, and the Mercury News predicts that number could reach 110,000 by the end of the program's first year -- far short of the 200,000 target set by state officials. The paper praises the Department of Health Services' decision to release a streamlined application in March, and notes that Hispanic enrollment is growing steadily despite a lack of formal assurance from the Immigration and Naturalization Service that "benefits will not be held against immigrants." The paper urges state officials "to pay close attention" to reports about successful outreach efforts from the 100% Campaign, a non-profit coalition of child advocates, and to concentrate their efforts in the schools with a letter campaign targeted at parents of children on subsidized lunches. The paper concludes, "Gov. Gray Davis has included a modest increase for the Healthy Families program in his 1999-2000 budget, but more money won't do any good if no one signs up to use it" (1/12).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.