Voters To Decide on Tax for Kids’ Health Program in Santa Clara County
On Nov. 2, Santa Clara County residents will vote on Measure A, a ballot initiative that would impose a 10-year annual parcel tax of $29 to help fund the county's Healthy Kids children's insurance program, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
Healthy Kids began in 2001 as a universal health coverage program for children. The program initially received funding from a tobacco tax, First 5 Santa Clara County, private foundations, the city of San Jose and other sources.
However, most of Healthy Kids' private funding hasÂ run out and the program has scaled back enrollment to 8,400 Santa Clara County children, down from 13,000 at its peak. Healthy Kids now has a waiting list for the first time.
Supporters of the parcel tax say a rejection of the ballot measure could lead to more emergency department visits, missed school days and missed work for parents taking care of sick children.
Opponents of the tax say the federal health care reform law could extend coverage to some county children.
More than 66% of voters will need to approve Measure A to pass the tax (Baxter, San Jose Mercury News, 9/13).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.