HEALTH ACCESS UPDATE
Tuesday, December 14th, 2004
NEW CAMPAIGN TO INSURE EVERY CALIFORNIA CHILD
- New Numbers on Child Health Insurance: More than 1.1 Million Uninsured Children in 2003
- Public Insurance Programs Pick Up the Slack From Declining Employer-Based Coverage
- New Campaign to Push 100% Children’s Coverage in New Legislative Session
Today at the State Capitol, a new advocacy campaign was launched to insure every child in California. “Californians for Healthy Kids” will build on the success of Medi-Cal and Healthy Families, as well as the 27 county initiatives that now cover hundreds of thousands of children, or have plans to start covering children. The new statewide effort is being led by PICO California and the 100% Campaign, a collaboration of Children Now, Children’s Defense Fund and The Children’s Partnership.
NEW NUMBERS: New data, released today by the UCLA Center of Health Policy Research, shows that the number of uninsured children in California decreased by nearly 500,000 over the last two years due to the effectiveness of public insurance programs. In 2001, 1.5 million children were uninsured at some point in a given year. While children’s coverage through a parent’s employment-based insurance dropped 4.3 percent, public insurance programs picked up the slack. In 2003, the number of uninsured children dropped to 1.1 million. A full brief is available at:
BROAD COALITION: Speakers at the press conference also included representatives from the California Teachers Association, the California State PTA, California Small Business Association, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, and the L.A. Care Health Plan on behalf of the Children’s Health Initiative of Greater Los Angeles and other county child health efforts. Other organizations, including Health Access California and United Way, were present in support. The groups unveiled a list of over 75 organizations in support.
SIGN-ON: Organizations are actively encouraged to sign on to the overall principles of the campaign, at:
PRINCIPLES: The principles that organizations are being asked to support include:
- Create a strong private/public initiative in which all children living in California from birth to age 21 will have access to affordable health insurance coverage.
- Build upon what works in California’s publicly-funded state insurance programs and reform what does not, including modernizing and simplifying how children get enrolled and stay enrolled in coverage.
- Create a statewide insurance system that leverages the lessons and successes of local children’s health initiatives.
- Promote voluntary opportunities to strengthen employer participation in covering dependents.
- Develop sustainable financing that supports the system over the long term, including maximizing federal funding.
- Promote opportunities for children to access services under their health insurance coverage.
- Ensure a strong safety net as a vital component of access to care.
- Do no harm as these reforms are put in place.
MATERIALS: More materials, including fact sheets, questions and answers, press releases, and other information, are available at the 100% Campaign website, at: http://www.100percentcampaign.org/priorities/healthy-kids-main.htm