Healthy Families Cuts Leave Nearly 3,000 Children a Day
Without Access to Health Coverage
Yesterday, California's Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board (MRMIB) met to discuss how to deal with a $194 million shortfall in the Healthy Families Program. If the shortfall cannot be dealt with, more than 900,000 children will be denied health coverage. In less than two weeks, more than 33,000 children (nearly 3,000 a day) have already been put on a waiting list for Healthy Families. The impact to children in every California county is staggering; please click here for the details.
At the meeting, MRMIB staff presented several options for narrowing the shortfall, including reverting to February 2009 plan rates, increasing co-payments and premiums that families have to pay, and other options, any and all of which must be considered before disenrolling any children. While these alternatives are far from ideal, they are vastly preferable to denying children health coverage altogether, although any reduction to benefits or any increase to co-payments or premiums should be implemented as one-time-only changes.
Families and advocates attended the meeting to urge MRMIB to exempt the most vulnerable children from the existing enrollment freeze and any potential future disenrollments. We also urge MRMIB to adequately track and monitor children on the waitlist and refer them to all possible programs for which they may be eligible.
The possibility of disenrollments will be considered at the next Board meeting, in mid-August. For the latest information on Healthy Families, including board meeting minutes and agendas, please check the MRMIB website.
For the latest coverage of the illogical cuts to Healthy Families, please see:
This morning's special report from the California Healthline;
This morning's story in the Sacramento Bee; and
Wednesday's San Jose Mercury News editorial
TAKE ACTION NOW! Unless and until the Governor, Legislature, and private sources (such as First Five and health plans) provide the funds necessary to fully fund Healthy Families, too many children will go without health coverage. The Healthy Families enrollment freeze has already resulted in a waitlist of 33,146 children as of July 28 - meaning that nearly 3,000 children have been put on the waitlist each day since July 17.
Click here to write to your legislators and to legislative leadership.
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore, on Jul 31, 2009 at 1:44 pm
Dear Poor Families and Children: there is no need for you to be ill. If you have to go to an Emergency Room, by all means GO! You are welcome. You have a right to be healthy and never let anybody tell you to remain ill and at risk.
Cholo's advice: Use the ER in every available hospital. Good Luck!
Posted by Get the Facts, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on Jul 31, 2009 at 3:20 pm
As a retired employee for Alameds Co., I wish people would get the facts before spouting off about something they no nothing of. First, Calif. has the Med-Cal program and the rest of the states other than Mass.) have Medi-Caid. Under these programs, all legal children under the age of 21 yrs. are eligible for full benefit health care services. All adults with children under the age of 21 yrs. are eligible for Medi-Cal. Depending upon their income, most often the share of cost is zero. Others may have a share of cost. (which is minimal compared to the real cost of services.) People 62 yrs. of age and older are eligible for Medi-Cal. Anyone who falls in-between these age groups and do not have eligible children, are eligible for Catastrophic Medi-Cal, or treatment in any Emergency Room or County Hospital. No one is turned away because they cannot pay. Therefore we are speaking of a small percentage of people who do not have medical coverage. While it is true that some changes need to be made, the far majority should not be punished for the small percentage of those not covered by one plan or another. Of course, don't forget all of the free clinis etc.. Please get all of the facts. Thank You
Posted by been there, a member of the Valley View Elementary School community, on Jul 31, 2009 at 5:12 pm
Get the Facts-I can tell you are retired because you do not have your facts straight.
People who have income too high to qualify for medi-cal have kids who were put in healthy families and healthy families is a program for children only. Medi-cal is for *below* poverty residents ONLY (children and their guardians/parents).
We are a family that is in the middle, we haven't had health insurance for over a year now after my husband was laid off, we now make too much to qualify for either program and we can't qualify for or even afford private insurance. You don't think there are many other families like mine...you are wrong.
Posted by What?, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 31, 2009 at 5:43 pm
How can congress and the administartion find two BILLION dollars in one afternoon for used cars that will be crushed, while CA has a 258 MILLION dollar Healthy Families shortfall and 1,000,000 children in working class families face not having or loosing mediccal innsurance?
Washington sprints to expand cash for clunkers' program
MiamiHerald.com - Margaret Talev, Tony Pugh - ř1 hour agoř
WASHINGTON -- Congress and the Obama administration scrambled Friday to triple the size of the overwhelmingly popular "cash for clunkers" program after it appeared to be exhausting its $1 billion funding ...
Posted by Susan, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Jul 31, 2009 at 10:20 pm
It's not the Governor. This Lousy Legislature loaded with losers, flipped off $$100million for THIS YEAR...in the FINAL budget. For weeks it was agreed that the state could piggyback on to EXISTING undersea oil rigs far out in the ocean. .Bringing the state $100million THIS BUDGET YEAR, and $1.8 BBBillion for short life of this short term contract. Lousy eco-zealot bought & owned legislature decided to flip off * ignore, $100million for THIS year. SO if there isn't enough $$$ for needed programs , ASK the LOUSY LEGISLATURE !
Posted by Get The Facts, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on Aug 1, 2009 at 3:04 pm
To Been There at Valley View,
I may be retired, but I still have contacts and they keep me posted and updated on all of the new regulations..so your sarcasm is not neccesary. The Medi-Cal program eligibility requirements take into account your Family size and income. There is a formula. A budget is calculated allowing so much for personal needs, rent, food etc.. Many times a parent is not eligible, but their children are. Your income must be very high if you applied and were told your application was denied. Guess what? Women or girls, legal or not, who want first, second and third abortions get approval for 0 share of cost with-in 24 hrs.. and don't have to prove anything. Go figure They are using up benefits you and your Family could enjoy. I was only trying to help you with the facts and I am not going to argue back and forth. I hope you and your Family get the care you need and I hope my Family gets to keep the medical benefits I paid into and worked all of those years for. I may have retired at an early age, but I am far from old yet!
Posted by Done, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Aug 2, 2009 at 6:36 pm
I am so done with voting for the liberals. We are last in everything. How can that be when we have an amazing economic engine in Silicon Valley? Because they spent too much.
There are too many hands in the pot and now that the recession has contracted the revenue on everyone, the programs are getting less. It isn't because there wasn't enough money to fund the prioritized programs, it's because there are too many programs to sustain unless the economy is good.
What works in a downturn should be the status quo and money should go into a surplus for savings down the road for benefits for retired state employees, etc that we aren't going to be able to afford down the road.
There has to be a limit to government. Eventually you shut enough businesses down and enough people from jobs, there won't be anything left for the critical programs really needed.
Now the federal government is heading down the same road as California. I never thought I'd see the day that I would pray for a conservative to counteract the overspending of programs in my state. We need to be reasonable. Not every program is a priority. If your child is healthy, then just take them to an MD when they are sick (if they aren't disabled). Go to an ER if you have to or Axis on Railroad in town. There are still options for now.
I think my age is starting to show, I'm really starting to understand the saying "If you're not a liberal when you're 20, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative when you're 40, you have no head."
Posted by Annette, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Aug 2, 2009 at 9:33 pm
Welcome to being a conservative! I applaud you for taking a serious look at the liberals' value system and admitting that their "return on investment" is bankrupt. I recognized this soon after I graduated from college and started teaching. Soon after teaching my first year, our system had a dramatic downsizing and I was laid off. During that year I had a choice of substitute teaching or accepting unemployment insurance. I was a democrat at that time, and when I learned that I would receive MORE money by taking unemployment vs. actually working as a substitute teacher, I knew that a system that provided an incentive to sit on your behind and not work, was seriously flawed. I am in favor of some financial cushion...but the unemployment system as designed was not very motivating. I decided to reject unemployment and am glad I did.
Since then, I have re-evaluated nearly every democrat-endorsed or designed government program and have concluded that almost ALL of them have serious negative impacts...either deliberate or not. I am now a staunch conservative and over the years, I am even more convinced that conservatism and the free-market, with limited government intervention is far superior to any democrat-led alternative.
If you haven't yet read Mark Levin's "Liberty & Tyranny" I strongly recommend that you pick up a copy. It should be required reading in all higher ed institutions.