Governor Signs Vital Legislation to Help Fund Health Coverage for Children in California
Los Angeles, CA
October 12, 2009
Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 1383, important legislation that will help strengthen California’s health care system during the economic downturn and provide needed health coverage to California children. AB 1383 uses funds generated by a hospital fee to draw down additional federal dollars to shore up California’s hospital system and will provide $80 million per quarter for children's health coverage.
“Hospitals, legislators, and the Governor are to be commended for working together to pass and sign into law AB 1383, which helps provide vital health coverage for California's children, including the many newly uninsured children who are victims of this recession,” said Peter Manzo, President & CEO of United Ways of California.
AB 1383 is a strong model for how California can bring in federal dollars to help fund much needed programs for children and families. This new legislation builds on the recent efforts of First Five California, health plans (through AB 1422, Bass/Steinberg), and others who contributed funds to patch a shortfall in the Healthy Families Program. It was merely one month ago that California’s budget woes had put in jeopardy the coverage of nearly one million children.
While the combination of AB 1383 and AB 1422 will provide necessary, immediate, funding for children's health coverage, both funding sources are only short-term answers as they will run out at the end of 2010. The Legislature must continue to work toward long-term solutions to ensure health coverage for all California children.
Manzo further said, “We look forward to working with the author, sponsors, Governor's office and other stakeholders to make sure that this legislation is implemented expeditiously and the funds generated by AB 1383 be used to ensure that children get the health coverage they need.”
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