Proposed cuts and changes to public health insurance programs would have a disproportionate effect on California kids compared with kids in the nation as a whole. During fiscal year 2016, more than 7 in 10 California children used federal funds from Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for health care coverage, according to the latest data now available on Kidsdata. Nationwide, fewer than 6 in 10 children used Medicaid or CHIP funds during the same time period. In California, both sources of funding support the Medi-Cal program.
Loss of Medicaid or reductions in benefits could lead to higher insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs for low-income families, increased numbers of uninsured or underinsured children, more emergency room visits and hospitalizations, increased school absences and resultant lower academic achievement, and, invariably, lost lives.
Decisions in Washington, DC impact California children. Policy options that could improve children’s health care include supporting efforts to ensure continuous, comprehensive insurance coverage for all children and reinforcing the capacity and financial viability of safety-net providers. On March 24, legislative leaders decided to discontinue advancing the American Health Care Act, a replacement for the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare), but changes to health care and other social services remain a probability. Voice your opinion and contact your U.S. Representatives and Senators to #KeepKidsCovered.
Enrollment in Health and Nutrition Safety Net Programs Among California’s Children, Public Policy Institute of California
Children’s Health Programs in California: Promoting a Lifetime of Health and Well-Being, California Budget and Policy Center
Medicaid Block Grant Would Slash Federal Funding, Shift Costs to States, and Leave Millions More Uninsured, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Are you interested in learning how to use childhood adversity data to advocate for change? Our recent webinar has information that you won’t want to miss. Download the slides or watch the recording on our blog.