Reiner Proposes Using Cigarette Tax Funds To Insure Low-Income and Undocumented Children
Actor and director Rob Reiner on Thursday proposed using some of the money from the state's cigarette tax to fund health coverage for uninsured children in Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles Times reports. Reiner also suggested some of the funds should be used to make preschool available to all three- and four-year-old Los Angeles County children. Four years ago, Reiner led the campaign to approve Proposition 10, which raised state cigarette taxes to 50 cents per pack. According to Reiner's staff, Proposition 10 generates $165 million annually for Los Angeles County; statewide, the tax generates about $700 million per year. A program providing health insurance to low-income and undocumented children in Los Angeles who are not covered by another subsidized program would cost "between $11 million and $25 million at its peak," Reiner's staff added. Reiner on Thursday told the Children and Families First Proposition 10 Commission, which has the sole authority to spend Los Angeles County's portion of the funds, "When I envisioned Proposition 10, I had a simple goal -- to create a broad, bold program that touches the life of every young child in California." He did not give details about how the health program would work. The commission approved Reiner's plan -- backed by many local child advocates -- "in principle" and asked Reiner to develop a more detailed proposal (Larubbia/Rivera, Los Angeles Times, 6/14).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.