Schwarzenegger Healthy Families Criticism Inaccurate, Editorial Says
The expansion of Healthy Families, which offers health insurance to children in families that do qualify for Medicaid, is one of the "clear successes" of Gov. Gray Davis' (D) tenure, which makes Republican gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger's comments about Davis' handling of the program "bizarre," a San Francisco Chronicle editorial states. During a gubernatorial debate last month, Schwarzenegger criticized the Davis administration's management of the program, saying that it "has not done a good job in reaching out and finding the people and letting them know to sign up and find easy ways for them to sign up" for Healthy Families. However, according to the Chronicle, Schwarzenegger's comments are not true, as Davis has shortened the application from 29 pages to four, distributed the forms in places where potential applicants seek other benefits and made enrollment services available in 11 languages. Currently, 11 times as many children have enrolled for health coverage under Healthy Families than were enrolled in the program when former Gov. Pete Wilson (R) -- a co-chair of Schwarzenegger's campaign -- left office, proving that the "system actually works" under Davis, the editorial states. In addition, Schwarzenegger has not said how he would pay for expanding Healthy Families, which costs almost $1 billion per year, the Chronicle states. Schwarzenegger's criticism of Davis coupled with his lack of a plan to pay for the growth of Healthy Families "reinforces our view that Schwarzenegger's campaign is based on smoke and mirrors," the editorial states, concluding, "As with much of his campaign, his numbers on children's health just don't add up" (San Francisco Chronicle, 10/3).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.