San Francisco ‘A Model’ for Children’s Health Coverage
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides said he would use San Francisco's Healthy Kids program as "a model" to extend health care benefits to all children in California within his first year as governor, the San Francisco Examiner reports.
The program is believed to be the only community health plan in the nation that provides medical, dental, vision and pharmacy benefits to residents ages 24 and younger. The benefit costs about $11.35 million annually, according to Mayor Gavin Newsom's press office.
Angelides said he would roll back about $5 billion in tax benefits for large corporations and residents who earn more than $500,000 annually to extend a similar benefit to the estimated 800,000 uninsured children in the state. Eventually, he said, he would create a universal health care system in California.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) last week also said he supports the creation of a universal health care system. However, Angelides questioned Schwarzenegger's dedication to the issue and criticized the governor for last year vetoing two bills that would have provided health insurance coverage for uninsured children.
Meanwhile, Newsom could announce a plan by next week that would extend health care benefits to all uninsured residents in San Francisco (Eslinger, San Francisco Examiner, 6/13).