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MHPA, Leading Association Representing Medicaid Health Plans, Issues Statement on Proposed California SCHIP Elimination
Date:6/1/2009

WASHINGTON, June 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Medicaid Health Plans of America (MHPA) Executive Director Thomas L. Johnson issued the following statement regarding the proposed elimination of California's State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), called "Healthy Families":

"The Governor's proposal to eliminate the Healthy Families program would be unprecedented. Making reductions in children's health coverage when the federal government has just approved a major expansion in SCHIP and is considering further coverage expansions for children would be a move backward. MHPA member health plans have strong concerns with the proposal and urge Governor Schwarzenegger to reconsider his plan to eliminate coverage for more than 800,000 children in California," said Johnson.

Last week Governor Schwarzenegger proposed a set of spending reduction proposals that included phasing out Healthy Families as soon as possible. MHPA and its member health plans pledge to work with the Governor to find other ways to deal with California's multi-billion dollar budget deficit that doesn't cause low-income children to lose their medical, dental and vision coverage.

A recent report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found children with health insurance were three times more likely to visit a doctor's office during the course of a year than uninsured children, and far more likely to have a regular check-up to keep them healthy. The report also found 41% of uninsured kids with chronic health needs forego needed care, compared with 10% of those in public insurance programs.

Medicaid Health Plans of America or "MHPA" is the leading trade association solely focused on representing Medicaid health plans. Founded in 1993, MHPA's mission is to develop and advance public policy that controls costs and improves access and delivery of quality health care to Medicaid members. For more information, visit www.mhpa.org or email mhpa@rcn.com.

    Contact:  Karen Seidman; karen@seidmansays.biz
    (202) 364-8134; fax (202) 364-0131



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SOURCE Medicaid Health Plans of America
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