Clock is Ticking on Children’s Health Coverage
Legislators and the Governor Need to Step Up and Prevent Hundreds of Thousands of Kids from Losing Health Insurance
August 23, 2011
On behalf of the state’s leading children’s advocates, Wendy Lazarus, Founder and Co-President of The Children’s Partnership, released the following statement in response to recent communications regarding a potential 37 percent shortfall in California’s Healthy Families budget for the current fiscal year.
Last week, the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board, which administers the Healthy Families Program, responded to an August 12 inquiry from the Department of Finance by announcing it would have no choice but to disenroll children from health coverage unless needed revenues are again approved. If California lawmakers and the Governor fail to extend an assessment on managed care plans before the end of the legislative session on September 9, Healthy Families will lose $130 million in state funds and $260 million more in federal matching funds.
Advocates to California Congressional Leaders: Find a Budget Fix that Works for Families Too
July 7, 2011
California advocacy organizations committed to improving children’s health reacted to negotiations among congressional leaders that could cut health care for children and families across the state and throughout the country. A new study released today by the National Bureau of Economic Research (link below) emphasizes how critical health coverage is for low-income families.
Human Development Report Shows Large Disparities Among Californians in the Areas of Health, Education and Income
Report illustrates the markedly different opportunities and outcomes for California residents across geography, race and gender.
Los Angeles, CA
May 17, 2011
A new report released May 17, 2011 provides, for the first time, an easy-to-understand composite number that measures the well-being of Californians in the areas of health, education and income. A Portrait of California uses the internationally recognized Human Development Index to rank how Californians are doing against key benchmarks, broken out by demographic, geographic and other distinctions. This exhaustive report was prepared by the American Human Development Project, a nonpartisan initiative that seeks to move beyond an overreliance in the U.S. on GDP as a measure of well-being.
Read the full report and find regional data here.
United Ways of California Reacts to Governor Brown's May Revised Budget Proposal
Los Angeles, CA
May 16, 2011
Peter Manzo, President & CEO of the United Ways of California, issued the following statement today in response to Governor Jerry Brown’s May revised budget proposal to merge Healthy Families into Medi-Cal (a General Fund savings of $31.2 million) and increase funding for K-12 education by $3 billion.:
“United Ways of California believes that health, education and financial stability are the building blocks for a good life, and that addressing any of those areas effectively requires attention to all. We appreciate that, while facing an enormous budget deficit, the Governor recognized the importance of education in our children’s lives by increasing funding for K – 12 education. Clearly that is a win for our kids.
United Ways Throughout California Offer Free Tax Preparation Help to Working Families
Los Angeles, CA
March 16, 2011
As part of annual efforts to increase tax refunds and credits for low- and moderate-income families and individuals, California’s United Ways are operating and funding dozens of free community tax preparation programs and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites throughout the state.
“With less than one month to go until state and federal income taxes are due, we want to make sure people are aware that free tax preparation help is available to those who need it,” said Peter Manzo, President & CEO of United Ways of California. “Last year programs supported by California’s United Ways’ were responsible for the preparation of more than 132,700 tax returns, amounting to over $153 million in refunds for low – and moderate – income residents. We hope to surpass those numbers this year.”
United Ways of California Reacts to Governor Brown's Budget Proposal
Cost Increases in Children’s Health Programs Could Jeopardize Access to Healthcare
for More than 120,000 Children
Los Angeles, CA
January 10, 2011
Peter Manzo, President & CEO of the United Ways of California, issued the following statement today in response to Governor Jerry Brown’s budget proposal relating to children’s health and education. The budget proposal would increase premiums for more than half a million children enrolled in the State’s Healthy Families program, would significantly increase co-pays for emergency room visits, hospital stays and prescription drug coverage for children enrolled in Healthy Families and Medi-Cal, and would eliminate vision benefits for children under Healthy Families. The Governor’s budget largely preserves K-12 education funding at existing levels.
California Misses Opportunity for Share of $206 Million in Federal Funding for Covering Uninsured Children
December 27, 2010
California today forfeited millions of dollars in federal funding to other states - money that could have gone to provide critical health insurance for California’s children – as the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded $206 million in “performance bonuses” to 15 states that took steps to insure eligible children.
“It is really tragic that we lost out on an opportunity to provide health coverage to more California children, especially when there’s no reason California couldn’t have earned a performance bonus. The winning states face tough budgets just like we do, but they recognized that in hard times it is more important than ever to cover uninsured kids, and the federal government rewarded that commitment,” said Judy Darnell, Director of Public Policy at United Ways of California, on behalf of a coalition of organizations who work together towards ensuring all California children have health coverage.
UWCA Accepts Connecting Kids to Coverage Challenge
United Ways of California commits to enrolling uninsured kids in health care coverage
United Ways of California along with several local United Ways across California have announced that they have accepted Secretary Sebelius’s Connecting Kids to Coverage Challenge to boost children’s enrollment in health insurance coverage programs in communities across California.
In February 2010, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued the “Secretary’s Challenge” to local, state and national organizations, policymakers and individuals to find and enroll the nation’s five million eligible but uninsured children in health insurance.
February 11th is National "2-1-1 Day"
2-1-1 California Helped 1.6 Million Callers Get Answers and Assistance in 2009, Especially as Economic Woes Sent More Families Looking for Help
February 11 (2/11) is official "2-1-1 Day" in recognition of the free, confidential, easy to remember phone number that connects California residents to essential community information and services such as healthcare, rent and mortgage assistance, food and shelter, job training, transportation, childcare, senior care, veteran services and much more. In 2009, local 2-1-1 call centers answered 1.6 million calls for help, and that number continues to grow as more Californians have access to this invaluable referral service.This 2-1-1 day, Nevada County will officially launch its local 2-1-1 service, further expanding the reach of this service to more and more Californians.
New Report Finds That Three in Ten California Households Cannot Afford Basic Needs
United Way Study reveals extent to which poverty is grossly undercounted in California, where 2.9 million households are living below the Self-Sufficiency Standard
Three in ten California households lack enough income to cover "bare bones" living expenses, according to a report released today by United Ways of California. The report uses a Self-Sufficiency Standard which measures the actual cost of living in California, specific to each county, for housing, food and shelter, as well as the work-related costs of transportation, child care and taxes.>
The complete report,"Overlooked and Undercounted 2009," commissioned by United Way of the Bay Area and conducted by the Center for Women's Welfare at the University of Washington.
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.
UWCA Applauds Signing of AB1422 Which Prevents 1 Million Kids from Losing Access to Health Coverage
Los Los Angeles, CA
Peter Manzo, President & CEO of United Ways of California today issued the following statement in response to Governor Schwarzenegger’s signing of AB 1422, a bipartisan bill passed through the Legislature on September 3, 2009, aimed at restoring nearly $100 million previously cut from the Healthy Families Program, California’s low- and no-cost health insurance program for children:
“With the Governor’s signature of AB 1422 today, nearly 1 million California children will now maintain access to their health coverage. The move couldn’t come at a more critical time, as 70,000 children had been denied access to Healthy Families and health coverage since July and hundreds of thousands more had been expected to lose access to coverage this year.
Healthy Families Enrollment Freeze Lifted
More than 88,000 children on waitlist to be enrolled, beginning tomorrow
Today, the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board (MRMIB), which administers the Healthy Families Program, voted to rescind the Program waitlist which has been in place since July 17 of this year. Additionally, MRMIB will no longer need to disenroll children in the Program as previously planned. The ability to discontinue the waitlist and keep enrolled children in the Program is a result of First 5 California’s contribution and the Legislature’s passage of AB 1422, which the Governor is scheduled to sign soon.
The Clock is Ticking: 63,000 Children Lose Access to Health Coverage in One Month
A Total of 1 Million Will Lose Coverage This Year if Budget Cuts to Healthy Families Are Not Restored
August 21, 2009 Los Angeles, CA
A recent meeting of the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board (MRMIB), the agency that oversees the Healthy Families Program, brought little good news for children who depend on the program. Irresponsible budget cuts by the Legislature and Governor left Healthy Families with a $194 million shortfall. While First 5 California stepped up and committed $81.4 million to help address the funding shortfall, it was not enough for MRMIB to stop denying access to new enrollments or to forgo plans to begin disenrolling children from Healthy Families on October 1. It is estimated that 1 million children could be denied access to coverage this year unless sufficient funding is found to avoid waitlists and disenrollments.
Big Five Proposed Budget is the Single Biggest Cut to Children's Health in History
Healthy Families Cuts Will Cause 785,000 Children to be Denied Access to Health Coverage
A statement from Peter Manzo, President and CEO of United Ways of California:"The proposed budget deal crafted by the Governor and the heads of the Assembly and Senate shows a colossal failure of leadership that constitutes an irresponsible and cruel blow to California's children's health. With budget cuts to the Healthy Families program expanding to $144 million, a total of 785,000 children are expected to be denied health coverage, resulting in the single largest health coverage cut to children in our nation's history.
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