09/29/03 17:54:09 GOVERNOR DAVIS CELEBRATES SUCCESS OF HEALTHY FAMILIES 09/29/2003
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GOVERNOR DAVIS CELEBRATES SUCCESS OF HEALTHY FAMILIES 09/29/2003 Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico Helps Celebrate Success; Enrollment Increases More Than 1,200 Percent Since 1999 SANTA MONICA
Governor Gray Davis today lauded the success of Healthy Families, California's health insurance program that provides vital services to the state's most needy children.
"I'm proud that we now have more than 691,000 children enrolled in Healthy Families. That's more than a 1,200 percent increase since 1999," Gov. Davis said. "Over 1.3 million more California children are insured today than before I took office and any way you slice it, Healthy Families has been a huge success."
Gov. Davis toured the Venice Family Clinic in Santa Monica with Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico. The clinic was founded in 1970 and has grown from a small storefront operation into the largest free clinic in the country. It currently provides services to more than 18,000 low-income families throughout the western part of Los Angeles County who lack health insurance.
Part of the success of Healthy Families is attributed to Gov. Davis' directive to simplify the enrollment process. Under his leadership, the Healthy Families application was streamlined from 28- to 4-pages, translated into 11 languages and placed on the Internet. To increase the program's importance and demonstrate his administration's commitment, Gov. Davis asked First Lady Sharon Davis to serve as honorary spokesperson for the Healthy Families campaign.
The state continues its efforts to insure more California children through programs that enroll eligible newborns upon birth and identify eligible children through their participation in the federal food stamps and school lunch programs.
The Davis Administration is also working with Assemblymember Manny Diaz (D-San Jose) and several county health departments to get federal approval of a plan that would allow county health districts to draw down federal matching dollars for their own similar children's health programs. If approved, these initiatives would further expand the already successful Healthy Families program at the county level.
Under Gov. Davis' direction, nearly 3.9 million children now have health insurance through either Healthy Families or the Medi-Cal program, an increase of 1.3 million since 1999.
"Today, no state in America has moved more children from the ranks of the uninsured to a children's health insurance program. We should not rest until every child in California has the advantage that high quality health care coverage provides," said Davis.