For the children …

Politico compiled a list of 10 Republican Congressmembers who lost their seats when they opposed expansion to the State Children’s Health Insurance Program/Healthy Families. A reconsideration and reauthorization of SCHIP is among the first things on Congress’ and Obama’s agenda come 2009 — and not a moment too soon.

Next month, California is expected to institute a waitlist for eligible children applying for Healthy Families. Advocates will speak out against the proposal at the November 19th Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board hearing. The response is ill-timed and ironic. More children than ever are applying for coverage monthly (27,000, reports the executive director Lesley Cummings), and Healthy Families enrolls 900,000 children now — the highest in its 11-year history. Add to that, an expected increase in unemployment in the next year — driving more families to public programs.

UPDATE: In this letter to its board, MRMIB shows what will happen to Healthy Families with a waitlist:

November 2008 enrollment = 904,389
June 2009 enrollment= 786,719

That’s 117,670 children who would actually *lose* coverage — not to mention the countless others (estimates are between 100,000 – 162,000 children) who would be placed on a waiting lists, even though they would otherwise qualify.

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.
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