Children’s Health Advocates Applaud Signing of SB 4

For Immediate Release:
October 9, 2015   

Contact: Bryan Ha, (916) 842-0713

Sacramento, CA – Today, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 4 (Lara) into law. This law builds on California’s historic expansion of health coverage to undocumented children by clarifying the Medi-Cal enrollment processes for these newly eligible children and helping to ensure that children can quickly access needed primary care.

“We thank Senator Ricardo Lara for his strong leadership and commitment to ensuring Health for All and Governor Brown for improving access to health care and coverage for children in all communities across the state,” said Pete Manzo, President and CEO of United Ways of California.

“By providing children with health coverage and ensuring that they can enroll smoothly into care, we save lives, improve school performance, and create positive impacts that last into adulthood. The measures in SB 4 create the necessary pathway for California to expand coverage to undocumented children with the effectiveness and expediency that their health deserves. Children with serious medical conditions that require specialty care, who are being newly enrolled in the program, will be properly evaluated and referred in the same manner as other eligible children. It also ensures that children already enrolled in restricted-scope coverage in Medi-Cal will not need to file a new application for full-scope services.

“Undocumented children will have the health coverage they need to survive and thrive, and grow up ready to contribute fully to our state’s workforce and economy. By doing the right thing for children, our state will benefit now and in the future.

“Not only is California making a smart investment in preventive health care, we will see long-term economic benefits as children with health coverage are more likely to graduate from high school and complete college.

“We look forward to realizing the benefits for children now and continuing to advocate until the whole family is eligible for health coverage.”

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The Children’s Health Coverage Coalition is comprised of California Coverage & Health Initiatives, Children Now, Children’s Defense Fund-California, PICO California, The Children’s Partnership, and United Ways of California. Follow the Coalition on Twitter at  @KidsHealthCA.