Healthy Families Deserves a Healthy Transition

For Immediate Release
May 8, 2012
For More Information Contact:
Isobel White, (510) 828-3554

Broad coalition supports alternative to Governor’s budget proposal that is better for California children

SACRAMENTO, CA – A broad coalition of children’s advocates, health care providers, and faith groups released a statement today calling on Governor Brown and the Legislature to make children’s health care a priority in the face of serious budget shortfalls.

Governor Brown’s budget proposal to fully eliminate the state’s successful Healthy Families Program and transition nearly 900,000 children to Medi-Cal poses a serious threat to California’s children. The statement below outlines an alternative proposal that protects children’s health care and is supported by forty organizations across California, notably including pediatricians, family physicians, children’s specialty care doctors, the California Medical Association, community clinics, health care advocates, faith groups, school-based health centers, grassroots community organizations,  community health workers, early childhood advocates and others.

The statement is as follows.

“The Brown Administration’s FY 2012/13 budget proposal would eliminate the Healthy Families Program and transfer all 875,000 Healthy Families children to Medi-Cal by June 2013. The undersigned organizations are concerned that the proposed transition would disrupt care for hundreds of thousands of children and undermine access to care for both children enrolled in Healthy Families and children currently enrolled in Medi-Cal. We therefore endorse a more reasonable alternative proposal.

We support a transition of only those Healthy Families children with family income up to 133% of the federal poverty level – also known as “bright-line” children – from Healthy Families into Medi-Cal starting in January 2013. It is critical that the transition of “bright-line” children be accompanied by sufficient safeguards to ensure that kids are able to access the providers and services that they need in a timely way, as well as a precise monitoring plan to evaluate the impact of the transition at key junctures.

Transitioning the “bright-line” children is consistent with the Affordable Care Act, which requires this subset of the Healthy Families population be enrolled in Medi-Cal by 2014. These lower income children are also the most likely to benefit from Medi-Cal’s features, such as no co-pays or premiums. In addition, transitioning the “bright-line” children would reduce the number of families with children split between Medi-Cal and Healthy Families, as children would no longer be forced to change programs (from Medi-Cal to Healthy Families) when they turn six. The alternative “bright-line” proposal is supported by recent analyses from both the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office and the highly-respected economic and social policy research organization, the Urban Institute.”

American Academy of Pediatrics California District
Berkeley Organizing Congregations for Action
California Academy of Family Physicians
California Black Health Network, Inc.
California Coverage & Health Initiatives
California Family Resource Association
California Medical Association
California Primary Care Association
California School Health Centers Association
California State Rural Health Association
Children Now
Children's Health Initiative of Santa Barbara
Children’s Defense Fund-California
The Children’s Partnership
Children's Specialty Care Coalition
Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo, Inc.
Congregations Building Community – Modesto
Congregations Organizing for Renewal
Contra Costa Interfaith Supporting Community Organization
Faith in Community - Fresno
First 5 Placer Children and Families Commission
Fresno Center for New Americans
Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministries
Greater Long Beach Area Interfaith Community Organization
Health Access
Healthy House Within a MATCH Coalition - Merced
Hmong Health Collaborative
Hmong Women's Heritage Association
Inland Congregations United for Change
LA Voice
Merced Organizing Project
Orange County Congregation Community Organization
People Acting in Community Together - San Jose
People and Congregations Together of San Joaquin County
PICO California
The Placer Children's Health Initiative
Sacramento Area Congregations Together
Southeast Asian Assistance Center
United Ways of California
Visión y Compromiso


The 100% Campaign, a collaborative effort of The Children’s Partnership, Children Now and Children's Defense Fund-California since 1998, was created to ensure that all of California’s children obtain the health insurance they need to grow up strong and healthy.

The Children's Partnership (TCP) is a national, nonprofit child advocacy organization working to ensure that all children - especially those at risk of being left behind - have the resources and the opportunities they need to grow up healthy and to lead productive lives. TCP focuses particular attention on securing health coverage for uninsured children and ensuring that the opportunities of digital technology benefit all children and families.

Children Now is a nonpartisan research and advocacy organization working to raise children's well-being to the top of the state and national policy agenda. Children Now focuses on ensuring quality health care, a solid education and a positive media environment for all children.

Children's Defense Fund-California is the California office of the Children's Defense Fund, a non-profit child advocacy organization that has worked relentlessly for nearly 40 years to ensure a level playing field for all children. The Children’s Defense Fund champions policies and programs that lift children out of poverty, protect them from abuse and neglect, and ensure their access to health care, a quality education, and a moral and spiritual foundation.

PICO California is the largest grassroots congregation-based community organizing network in California. Nineteen local California PICO federations organize in 73 cities and 35 school districts, reaching from Placer to San Diego County. Together, PICO federations represent 450,000 families of diverse economic, racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds across the state. PICO California is part of the PICO National Network, which includes organizations in 16 states.

California Coverage & Health Initiatives (CCHI) is an association of local Children's Health Initiatives (CHIs) in 24 California counties, 17 Outreach & Enrollment partners and contacts in 54 of 58 California counties covering the geographic area where 95% of the state’s population resides. Members of CCHI have insured more than 167,000 previously uninsured children in locally-funded Healthy Kids programs. CCHI members and partners have an extensive network of Certified Application Assistants, Promotoras, and health outreach workers. With firsthand experience and success enrolling children into public programs, such as Medi-Cal and Healthy Families, as well as administering local Healthy Kids programs, the members of CCHI have shown that coverage for all children in California is a reachable goal.

United Ways of California (UWCA) is the state association for California’s local United Ways. UWCA works to improve the health, education and financial stability for low-income children and families by enhancing and coordinating the advocacy and community impact work of California’s United Ways. UWCA is a strong advocate of expanding health coverage to all California children and their families. United Ways work closely with local community and business leaders, state and federal legislators, and volunteers to promote these is achievable and important goal.