Governor’s Budget Choices Would Dismantle Child Health Programs Despite Chorus of Opposition

California Progress Report

May 21, 2012


Yes, times are tough for California. But tough times don’t justify putting kids at the back of the line, and yet that’s what exactly what Governor Brown’s recently released May Revision budget proposal would do when it comes to children’s health. We know that children with health insurance get better preventive care, do better in school, and live healthier overall. But health coverage is only half the story; children also need meaningful and timely access to health care services and providers. That’s why it’s so troubling that the Governor has a proposal that jeopardizes children’s access to health care by eliminating the state’s successful Healthy Families program and transitioning nearly 900,000 kids to Medi-Cal over an aggressive nine-month time period. The Governor has maintained this proposal despite a chorus of opposition from a coalition of more than 40 organizations, including health care providers, children’s advocates, and faith groups. The threats to children’s health care go even further. The Governor has additionally proposed to reduce the rates paid to Healthy Families plans to equal the rates paid in Medi-Cal, which already has the lowest level of per-child spending in the country. The providers that treat our children everyday should be focused on providing care, not on navigating through the confusion of an ill-timed transition.
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