More Budget Cuts Pose Risk to Healthy Families Enrollees, Advocates Say
Children's health advocates are warning that about 800,000 children could be denied health insurance coverage if Healthy Families begins dropping enrollees, Capital Public Radio's "KXJZ News" reports.
About one million children currently receive coverage under Healthy Families, California's Children's Health Insurance Program.
Because of budget concerns, the state froze enrollment for Healthy Families on July 17. Since the freeze took effect, more than 7,000 children have been placed on a waiting list.
Lesley Cummings -- executive director of the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board, which administers Healthy Families -- said the freeze could prevent about 350,000 children from gaining health insurance over the next year.
Adding to the pressure, lawmakers are negotiating a budget proposal that would cut Healthy Families' funding by a third.By law, the program cannot go into debt, Cummings said. However, she added that severe funding reductions might force officials to begin disenrolling children from the program (Weiss, "KXJZ News," Capital Public Radio, 7/21). 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.