Let’s do this right for CA kids!Posted February 27th, 2013 by Ashley Boyd
This week, my five-year-old son finally mastered the art of making his own morning cereal. It’s a big milestone but honestly, but I’ll save the real celebration for when he can do it without spilling milk everywhere.
It’s one thing to start something but another to finish the job without leaving a mess.
Right now, our California legislators need this reminder. Despite strong protests from children’s health advocates, California began moving children getting health coverage through the Healthy Families Program over to the state’s Medi-Cal health coverage program on January 1st. In this first stage, 180,000 children were moved and over the coming months over 650,000 more will follow.
So far, it looks like there may be problems with this transfer already. While the state is required to monitor this transition to ensure no child loses access to coverage in the process, the California Department of Health Care Services’ first report about how the transition affected kids’ access to care was inadequate and incomplete, leaving it unclear whether children are getting what they need now or if they will in the future. In fact, children’s health advocates are worried that the state’s current monitoring and oversight process is completely inadequate to identify problems that might arise, and that children might fall through the cracks.
We need to stand up for California’s children. Click here to tell California legislative leaders: “Let’s get the job done right. We urge you to strongly oversee the transfer of children’s coverage to ensure no children lose access to vital health services.”
We need to act fast! This Thursday, legislators will hold a hearing to review the Healthy Families transition progress and recommend further action. We’ll present this open letter and your signatures to legislators at this hearing to send a strong message that California’s parents are watching this process to make sure children are not harmed.
For months, California’s children health advocates and legislative leaders have expressed concern about the state’s swift transfer of these children from Healthy Families to Medi-Cal. In fact, last December, Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg and 22 Members of the California congressional delegation wrote letters to California’s Secretary of Health and Human Services Agency, Diana Dooley, expressing serious concerns about the timing of the transition and urging the state to move cautiously to protect children’s health. Despite these concerns, the state moved forward with the transition on January 1st.
Now that the transfer is underway, we need to make sure it’s done right so that all children have access to a doctor, dentist or mental health provider when they need one. It is critical that we get good information and carefully review this transfer process because hundreds of thousands more children and their families will be facing this change in the coming months, including children in rural California where there are a limited number of doctors and dentists and the transfer might mean these kids lose their access to a doctor nearby.
Let your legislators leaders know that they need to keep a close watch on California’s children:
It takes just a minute of your time to make a difference in this process and stand up for our kids’ health!