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Congratulations! Last week California members sent over 3,600 letters to Governor Schwarzenegger and our legislators in Sacramento to oppose a proposed wait-list for kids' healthcare coverage. Our voices were heard! In response to public concern, state leaders in partnership with First 5 and the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board (MRMIB - the agency that runs Healthy Families) worked hard and found a short-term solution to maintain existing kids' coverage.

*Let's let our legislators know that we appreciate when they take steps in the right direction toward covering all kids. Send a thank you note now:

How did this great thing happen anyway? The First 5 California Children and Families Commission (which uses tobacco tax dollars to fund children's programs) voted unanimously to provide nearly $16.8 million to fill the Healthy Families funding gap and help avoid freezing enrollment in the Program.

This generous one-time contribution means that California's working families who don't have access to job-based health coverage and earn too much to qualify for Medi-Cal will continue to be able to purchase affordable coverage for their children.

It's great news that the wait-list was stopped in its tracks, but we need to keep up the pressure for kids' coverage. Even now, 1 of every 8 children is without healthcare coverage. The First 5 funds are a short-term victory that will give our elected officials the time to make wise use of federal funds expected to come to California early in 2009, so that all children in California have access to affordable coverage as soon as possible.

Keep your gloves on (and not just because of the cold weather)! We'll be fighting into the New Year for kids' healthcare coverage to be in the new California State budget, in the U.S. House and Senate, and wherever we can. We're working to make sure kids' healthcare is a priority!

Let's thank our leaders when they do the right thing, and also let them know that we expect them to stay the course toward covering all kids.

Send a thank you now:

Thanks for your hard work and dedication on behalf of California's kids!

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