State officials will meet in Sacramento tomorrow to get an update on the Healthy Families enrollment freeze, which took effect on July 17 and is preventing thousands of low-income children from accessing low-cost health coverage. Officials also will discuss alternative sources of funding that could help replace some or all of the $174 million in state funding that was cut from Healthy Families in the revised budget agreement that the Governor signed yesterday.
State officials have been negotiating with the First 5 California Children and Families Commission to see if First 5 could shift some of its tobacco-tax revenues to Healthy Families to fund health coverage for children age 5 and younger, which could keep thousands of kids off the waiting list. So far, First 5 officials have expressed a willingness to help, but have been reluctant to commit to a specific level of support. First 5 officials may be ready to show their hand at tomorrow’s meeting.
— Scott Graves