Children At Risk Of Losing Health Coverage Under Governor’s Budget Proposal
Los Angeles, CA May 20, 2009
Peter Manzo, President & CEO of United Ways of California, issued the following statement in response to the failure of the six Special Election ballot measures and the current May Revise budget proposal on the table:
“With the failure of the May 19 Special Election ballot measures, the Governor’s May Revise proposals that would eliminate healthcare coverage for more than 225,000 children are now officially on the table. This proposal would do permanent harm to the health of hundreds of thousands of children and is simply unacceptable.
“This proposal comes at the worst possible time for California’s children and families as the recession, job loss, and loss of benefits have created record demand for the state’s Healthy Families program. According to an April 2009 UC Berkeley Labor Center study, as many as 300,000 kids in California have lost employer-based coverage this past year, underscoring more than ever the importance of programs like Healthy Families.
“Not only is the proposal bad for kids, but it is extremely shortsighted when it comes to the state’s finances. Kicking children off of a cost-effective children’s health program won’t stop them from getting sick and needing care. Instead, we will see preventable and manageable illnesses turn serious, forcing kids into more costly types of care and costing the state and taxpayers more.
“Ultimately, we must all work to fix our broken budget system so we can truly make advances towards the common good.
“We strongly urge the Governor and Legislature to reject this harmful proposal and enact a final budget that doesn’t harm our kids.”
About United Ways of California: United Ways of California is a state association of local United Ways and is a strong advocate of expanding health coverage to more children in California. United Ways work closely with local community and business leaders, legislators, congressional members and others to promote this achievable and important goal.