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Recent Calif. Budget Cuts Could Force Healthy Families To Disenroll Children From Program

When Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) signed a budget revision this week, he used his line-item veto authority to cut an additional $50 million from Healthy Families. Together with cuts the Legislature approved, California’s Children’s Health Insurance Program stands to lose $178 million in state funding.

Officials say that unless Healthy Families manages to secure gap financing, the program could start disenrolling children as early as October.

In a California Healthline Special Report by Deirdre Kennedy, stakeholders discussed the impact of state budget cuts on health care access for children.

The Special Report includes comments from:

  • Sen. Denise Ducheny (D-San Diego);
  • Elia Gallardo, director of government affairs at the California Primary Care Association;
  • Assembly member Dave Jones (D-Sacramento);
  • Bill Madison, spokesperson for California’s First 5 program; and
  • Ginny Puddefoot, the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board’s deputy director of health policy, legislation and external affairs.

Jones’ AB 1383 attempts to capture some federal matching funds for Medicaid by imposing a fee on hospitals. Jones said the bill would allocate $320 million of the revenue for children’s health care (Kennedy, California Healthline, 7/31).

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