Role of Medi-Cal for Children

Role of Medi-Cal for Children

Released: December 2016

Today, 97% of California’s children have health insurance, a historic high, thanks in large part to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP (together in California known as Medi-Cal). Medi-Cal is a lean, efficient program that has served low income children, seniors, and children and adults with disabilities, such as Down Syndrome, and abused and neglected children in foster care for more than 50 years. Without Medi-Cal’s strong protections, coverage guarantee, and comprehensive, age-appropriate health and mental health coverage, millions of children in California would go uninsured or underinsured, substantially increasing short and long-term costs for the state and local communities, while jeopardizing children’s futures. As our nation’s leaders make critical decisions about America’s future, Medicaid’s historically strong protections must remain exempt from cuts or structural changes that would undermine its ability to serve people in need. Additionally, a partial or full repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and resulting federal cut to California’s budget threatens the viability of the Medi-Cal program and the health of our state’s children.