Healthy Families Cut

Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board, which manages Healthy Families will begin to eject children from the program, it was decided Thursday. Approximately 60,000 children will be dropped on October 1, 2009, with more dropped monthly until June, 30, 2010, by which time 670,000 children will be dropped from the affordable state insurance. Families will receive a 30 day written notice.

On Thursday, the First 5 California Commission, diverted $81.4 million in tobacco-tax funds from early childhood education, toward Healthy Families specifically for children 5 and under, but it is not enough to provide for even one month’s insurance for all the state’s eligible children.

Advocates for children’s health point out that more middle class families are without work and so without appropriate health insurance for their children. State Democrats are discussing filing suit against the governor to have the money returned, and Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) has filed suit to reverse Schwarzenegger’s line item vetoes. More suits are expected.

The results in our local area will be more children with health problems, and more unfunded trips to the emergency room, meaning our local health care systems will have to try to practice medicine for free, or turn away sick children.

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