United Ways of California Reacts to Closure of Vital Alameda Healthy Kids Program
Failure of State to Develop Solution and Funding for Uninsured Children Has Put Health of Hundreds of Alameda Kids at RiskLos Angeles, CA
July 8, 2008
Elise Buik, President of United Ways of California, issued the following statement in response to today's Alameda Alliance for Health announcement that it will close its Healthy Kids program as of September 30, 2008:
"It's a tragedy that 1,000 Alameda County children could lose their health coverage with the closure of Alameda's Healthy Kids program - especially because it could have been avoided with commitment and leadership from the Legislature and Governor to provide health coverage for all children.
"For the past five years, United Ways of California has been part of a broad coalition pushing for a statewide solution to provide health and preventive care to all California children. Doing so is clearly the right thing to do for our kids. But, it is also sound economic policy because providing children healthcare keeps them out of more costly emergency rooms and reduces preventable hospitalizations. This reduces costs for all of us.
"Unfortunately, Alameda's children are not the only ones at risk because of the state's failure to act on children's health. There are nearly 500,000 more children whose health coverage could be lost due to current budget proposals.
"We must stop the boom or bust cycle with children's healthcare and make a solid investment in their future - and ours."
Available for Interviews and Statements:
Judy Darnell, State Advocacy Director, United Ways of California
Lorne Needle, Vice President, Community Investment, United Way of Bay Area