Schwarzenegger Voices Support for Children’s Health Care
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) on Wednesday said the state needs private, public and not-for-profit organizations to work to enroll eligible children in government-sponsored health insurance programs, the Fresno Bee reports. At a news conference at Centro La Familia Advocacy in Fresno, Schwarzenegger said all children in California should have access to health insurance, regardless of their immigration status.
The governor added that he included $80 million in the fiscal year 2006-2007 state budget to increase outreach efforts and sign up children who are eligible but not enrolled in health insurance programs. About $23 million of that funding will be used to increase enrollment in Medi-Cal and Healthy Families, the governor said.
A separate proposal to eliminate waiting lists for county Healthy Kids programs was dropped from the budget last month (Anderson, Fresno Bee, 7/6).
Schwarzenegger and the "Democratic leadership were wrong to trade the well-being of children for political compromise" when they dropped the Healthy Kids provision from the budget, a Los Angeles Times editorial states. According to the Times, it is "truly reprehensible ... that the immigration brouhaha is bleeding into so many other policy areas," such as a new federal law that requires Medicaid applicants to provide proof of citizenship before receiving benefits.
"Insuring all uncovered children in California remains a public-policy goal worth pursuing," the editorial states. The Times writes, "Hopefully the Legislature, which is expected to take up the issue again this later summer, will show more courage once the deadline pressure of budget-making is removed" (Los Angeles Times, 7/6).