Governor Brown’s announcement that a budget agreement to eliminate the Healthy Families Program has been reached, could have an enormously negative impact on 880,000 children that rely on the Healthy Families Program for health care coverage. Disrupting the care of these children could result in mass confusion for families and disruption in care for children. The agreement would move all of the children and teenagers from the Healthy Families Program to Medi-Cal. Healthy Families has been a successful program providing health, dental and vision coverage to lower income children.
“The move to eliminate the Healthy Families Program would be devastating for children and teenagers throughout California that depend on the program for medical care,” said CMA President James T. Hay, MD. “What the governor has proposed will undoubtedly ensure that those kids now have a harder time getting access to care.”
SFMS/CMA has joined together with over 40 organizations in opposition of the proposal because of the ramifications it would have on California’s most vulnerable children.
SFMS/CMA, along with other provider and children’s groups has proposed a compromise effort to restructure Healthy Families by moving only the ‘bright line’ children—those whose parents earn between 101 and 138% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) into Medi-Cal. The state is required to transition these children due to federal health reform.
The proposal to start with the ‘bright line’ children is supported by analyses recently released by both the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) and the Urban Institute.