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Ellen Wu's picture

At this critical time for California’s safety-net programs, I am honored to have been appointed by Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg to serve on the state’s Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board (MRMIB). MRMIB oversees the Healthy Families Program, which provides low-cost health, dental, and vision coverage to children in low-wage families. MRMIB also oversees four other programs benefiting low-income Californians, the elderly and disabled: Access for Infants and Mothers Program, County Health Initiative Matching Fund Program, Major Risk Medical Insurance Program, and the Pre-existing Conditions Insurance Plan Program.

In Governor Jerry Brown’s May Revise, he proposed transitioning the close to 900,000 children in Healthy Families to Medi-Cal in the 2011-12 fiscal year, as well as the elimination of MRMIB and the transfer of the other programs to the Department of Health Care Services. The legislature is now developing their proposal for the transition. As MRMIB is in this uncertain period, we must make sure that our first priority are the children and families in these programs, and that there is continuity of care. We will work to ensure that they continue to receive the same services, and that they will not have to pay more for their care.

I am excited about joining a group of leaders that has pioneered a “no wrong door” approach to enrollment and that has greatly enhanced the ability of eligible applicants to receive the health care they need. I am grateful for this opportunity and realize the great challenge ahead. I look forward to working with providers, policymakers, and other advocates as we build a healthier future for California’s kids.

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