California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a bill that will keep the state's Children's Health Insurance Program operating. The program, called Healthy Families, covers nearly 1 million children from low-income families and was under threat of major cuts because of a statewide budget crunch.
Calif. extends children's health insurance program
The pact, forged between lawmakers and insurers, extends a fee on health insurers, generating $100 million this fiscal year, and raises family premiums and copayments, generating $14 million. California's First 5 Commission also gave $80 million to preserve enrollment to children ages 5 and under. Without the agreement, about 700,000 children would have been dropped from the program starting Oct. 1. The deal also lifts an enrollment freeze in place since July.
At the bill signing ceremony, Schwarzenegger cautioned that the solution is only temporary and said that's why he is a proponent of comprehensive healthcare reform “to make sure that no one, no child or no grownup, is left behind.”
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