Monday, October 20, 2008
Source: APSmart move on the part of Hawaii ...
Program Was Only One In America
POSTED: 8:23 am EDT October 17, 2008
UPDATED: 8:34 am EDT October 17, 2008
HONOLULU -- Hawaii is dropping the only state universal child health care program in the country just seven months after it launched.
Gov. Linda Lingle's administration cited budget shortfalls and other available health care options for eliminating funding for the program. A state official said families were dropping private coverage so their children would be eligible for the subsidized plan.
State officials said Thursday they will stop giving health coverage to the 2,000 children enrolled by Nov. 1, but private partner Hawaii Medical Service Association will pay to extend their coverage through the end of the year without government support.
Hawaii lawmakers approved the health plan in 2007 as a way to ensure every child can get basic medical help. The Keiki (child) Care program aimed to cover every child from birth to 18 years old who didn't already have health insurance -- mostly immigrants and members of lower-income families.
It costs the state about $50,000 per month, or $25.50 per child -- an amount that was more than matched by HMSA.
State health officials argued that most of the children enrolled in the universal child care program previously had private health insurance, indicating that it was helping those who didn't need it.
Now will someone please tell Barack and JohnnyMac?