Lawmakers, Advocates Focus on Children’s Health Insurance
Several proposals that aim to expand health insurance programs for children are creating what health care advocates say is "the most promising moment in years for children's health care," the Los Angeles Times reports.
Among the proposals that aim to close the gaps in coverage are:
- A measure that is expected to qualify for the November ballot to increase the tobacco tax by $2.60 per pack of cigarettes to expand eligibility for Healthy Families;
- A Senate bill that would create a statewide California Healthy Kids program and simplify the enrollment process for Medi-Cal and Healthy Families;
- An Assembly proposal that would provide an additional $40 million to local health insurance programs (Chung, Los Angeles Times, 6/9); and
- A proposal included in Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) revised budget that would increase funding to health insurance programs by $22.8 million (California Healthline, 5/15).
A United Way poll last month found that 83% of California voters support proposals to "ensure every child has health insurance." About half of the estimated 800,000 uninsured children in the state are eligible for Medi-Cal or Healthy Families but have not enrolled (Los Angeles Times, 6/9). 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.