Photo Courtesy of the Governor's Office
Governor Schwarzenegger signed a bill into law Tuesday that ensures more than half a million children can keep their health insurance.
Budget cuts this summer forced the state's low-income Children's Health Insurance Program to put 70,000 kids on a waiting list. The next step for the program, called Healthy Families, was to start disenrolling kids. Up to 700,000 could have lost coverage over the next year. But Governor Schwarzenegger says because of the new law, this all can be avoided.
“I think this came just in at the right time, it would have been disastrous to lose the health care for all of those kids, not only would they have lost that but now when we see the H1N1 virus creeping up and spreading all over California and all over the country and it mostly affects young kids, it would have been really devastating.”
The nearly $200 million to keep funding Healthy Families will come from a few sources. Health plans will pay less in some taxes but for a longer period of time to generate about $100 million. Families on the program will pay twice as much for some doctor’s visits and most prescription drugs. And the First Five Commission is chipping in more than $80 million to help offset the shortfall.