The Good News: With the fate of California’s Healthy Families hanging in the balance, First 5 California passed a resolution yesterday that provided broad authority for the Commission to continue financial support for health coverage for kids.
The resolution did not allocate a specific dollar amount, but indicated they would help with the $90 million shortfall that Healthy Families would have under the Budget Conference Committee proposal. We’ll know how big the hole is when the state budget is signed by the Governor. It is unclear whether First Five would–or is even able to–bridge the entire shortfall, however big it is. Additional financial commitments from other stakeholders were encouraged at the meeting.
First 5 California’s commitment cannot be the only solution. The Legislature and Governor must also stand up for the most vulnerable children in California by funding the Healthy Families Program.
The Bad News: Unless there is a change, children will be denied health coverage starting TOMORROW, July 17th, and placed on a waiting list. The freeze will take place with the implementation of a waitlist to new enrollment in the Healthy Families program.
The Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board (MRMIB) determined this during their meeting on June 29, 2009, where they disclosed that sufficient funds are not available to cover the estimated costs of Healthy Families expenditures.
Unless there’s a change, it’ll be a sad day tomorrow.