Children’s Defense Fund - California

Since 1998, Children’s Defense Fund-California (CDF-CA) has worked with colleagues in the 100% Campaign to ensure that all of California’s children gain access to affordable, comprehensive health coverage. CDF-CA’s efforts to expand coverage for children, simplify enrollment processes, and support outreach efforts have resulted in a significant decline in the number of uninsured children in the state. See below for more information about CDF-CA’s recent activities, accomplishments, and advocacy work and tools!

Kids & Families

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  • CDF Publishes Child Poverty Report

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    CDF, CA: The Children’s Defense Fund published a report showing that an investment of an additional 2 percent of the federal budget into existing programs and policies could help reduce child poverty by 60 percent. The report notes that the United States has the second highest child poverty rate among 35 industrialized countries. Despite progress in reducing child poverty over the last 50 years, 12.2 million children still live below the federal poverty level.  Children’s Defense Fund – California released a companion report outlining how to reduce California child poverty by 58 percent.

  • California KidsWell Partners Comment on Governor’s Budget Proposal

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    CA: California KidsWell partners, Children Now, Children’s Defense Fund-CA, PICO California, and The Children’s Partnership, issued a press release along with two other statewide organizations on the governor’s proposed budget. The press release notes a missed opportunity to expand Medi-Cal coverage to immigrants newly eligible for “deferred action” status, disappointment in maintained cuts to Medi-Cal provider rates, and excitement for a proposal to expand a county pediatric palliative care pilot program. The organizations call on the Governor and Legislature to create a system that will truly cover all children in California regardless of income or immigration status.

  • KidsWell Partners Respond to MACPAC Request on Future of Children’s Health Coverage

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    CCF, CDF, First Focus, NHeLP, CA: 49 groups, including KidsWell Partners Children’s Defense Fund, The Children’s Partnership, First Focus, the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, and the National Health Law Program, responded to a MACPAC request about how to improve Marketplace coverage for children. The letter advocates for the Commission to recognize the foundational role of Medicaid and CHIP and discusses: affordability of coverage; adequacy of covered benefits; network adequacy; and transitions between Medicaid, CHIP, Marketplaces, and employer sponsored insurance.

  • KidsWell Partners Report and Comment on California’s Health for All Act

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    NAM, YI, CA: New American Media reported on the reintroduction of SB 4, the Health for All Act, which would guarantee all Californians access to health care, regardless of immigration status. California KidsWell partners Children Now, Children’s Defense Fund-California, PICO California, The Children’s Partnership, and Young Invincibles, signed onto a statement with other Californian advocacy groups praising Senator Lara’s actions. In addition, The Children’s Partnership issued a statement in which founder and co-president Wendy Lazarus stated, “[w]e stand with Senator Ricardo Lara and our partners to expand access to health coverage for all Californians, regardless of immigration status, in the coming year.”

  • California KidsWell Partners Applaud President Obama’s Executive Action

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    CA: The California Children’s Health Coverage Coalition, which includes KidsWell Partners Children Now, Children’s Defense Fund-California, and PICO California, issued a press release applauding President Obama’s Executive Action on immigration. The press release notes that nearly one in six children in California has an undocumented parent and that under California law, lawfully present, low-income immigrants are eligible for Medi-Cal. The Coalition is monitoring how the President’s action will impact current efforts in the state legislature to expand health coverage.
  • California KidsWell Partners Praise Governor Brown’s Support for CHIP

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    CA: The Children’s Health Coverage Coalition, which includes KidsWell partners Children Now, Children’s Defense Fund-California, PICO California, and The Children’s Partnership, issued a press release praising the Brown Administration’s letter calling on Congress to extend CHIP funding. The letter encourages Congress to act early and emphasizes CHIP’s importance to California’s fiscal stability.

  • KidsWell Partners Circulate Letter Urging Congress to Extend MIECHV Program Funding

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    CDF, First Focus, NY: KidsWell Partners, Children’s Defense Fund, First Focus, and Health Care for All New York, signed on to a letter urging Congress to extend funding for the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program before the end of this legislative session or as one of the first acts of the next legislative session. MIECHV funding is set to expire in March 2015. Organizations are encouraged to add their name to the letter by November 7th.

     

  • California KidsWell Partners Comment on Medi-Cal Managed Care Quality Strategy

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    CA: California KidsWell partners Children Now, Children’s Defense Fund – California, and The Children’s Partnership, the First 5 Association of California and the United Way Organizations of California sent a letter to DHCS commenting on the draft 2014 Annual Assessment of the Quality Strategy for Medi-Cal Managed Care. The letter notes that the draft strategy, required by the federal government, needs to focus more on children’s health care and pediatric quality indicators because children under 18 make up 62% of Medi-Cal Managed Care enrollees. 

  • CDF-CA Partners with Schools to Enroll Children in Health Coverage

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    CA: The Children’s Defense Fund – California (CDF-CA) issued a press release about their work to identify and enroll uninsured children into free or low-cost health coverage with the help of local school partnerships. Lorena Sanchez, health programs coordinator for CDF-CA stated, “This project will bring us a step closer to ensuring that every child has the health care they need to do well in school.”

  • California KidsWell Partners Advocate to Help Children and Families Maintain Medi-Cal Coverage

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    CA: KidsWell grantees, Children Now, PICO California, The Children’s Partnership, and Children’s Defense Fund – California, joined the California Coverage & Health Initiatives and the United Way of California on a statement advocating for Senate Bill (SB) 18. SB 18 would require the state to accept private foundation funds and matching federal funds to help children and families maintain their Medi-Cal coverage. The California Endowment has already offered $6 million which, should the bill become law, would be matched by $6 million in federal funds. The bill was passed by the Appropriations Committee and will now head to the Assembly floor.

  • California KidsWell Partners Circulate Advocate for the Renewal of CHIP Funding

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    CA: KidsWell California grantees, Children Now, PICO California, The Children’s Partnership, and the Children’s Defense Fund – California, wrote a memo to U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer as Congress considers renewing CHIP funding, which expires in 2015. The memo recommends that CHIP funding be renewed for at least four more years, supports and highlights the importance of the “CHIP bump” as an investment in children’s health care, highlights the renewal of CHIP funding as an opportunity to improve and realize program efficiencies, and calls for renewal as soon as possible.  

  • Kidswell Partners Support Bill to Strengthen Stakeholder Input for Children in Medi-Cal

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    MomsRising, CA: Over 50 organizations, including KidsWell grantees, MomsRising, Children Now, Children’s Defense Fund – California, PICO California, and The Children’s Partnership, signed onto a letter to the California Legislature strongly supporting the passage of AB 357 to modify the name, scope, and structure of the Healthy Families Advisory Panel. The letter strongly urges the legislature to support the bill as a way to ensure providers, families, and stakeholders representing enrollees have a voice to address issues affecting children in Medi-Cal.

  • California KidsWell Partners Issue Statement on Medi-Cal Coverage for Children with Autism

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    CA: KidsWell California grantees, Children Now, Children’s Defense Fund-California , PICO California, and The Children’s Partnership, joined California Coverage and Health Initiatives in a statement supporting California’s State Plan Amendment (SPA) that would make Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy a covered benefit under  Medi-Cal. ABA therapy was previously covered for children with autism in the Healthy Families Program, but children lost this benefit when Healthy Families consolidated with Medi-Cal last year. The State will submit the SPA in September and coverage would be retroactive to July 1, 2014.

  • CDF-CA Advocates for Children’s Health Care Programs in Budget

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    CA: Michele Stillwell-Parvensky, senior policy and communications associate for the Children's Defense Fund—California, was quoted in California Healthline about the inclusion of children’s health care programs in California’s budget.  The programs include the Black Infant Health Program, Early Mental Health Initiative, applied behavior analysis therapy benefit, Children's Dental Disease Prevention Program, and Medi-Cal provider reimbursement rate restoration. Stillwell-Parvensky stated, “We're hopeful the Legislature will decide to invest in effective health prevention programs for children. In the grand scope of the budget, these are relatively small-ticket items that have been proven to have a big impact for kids.”
  • CA Advocates for Children’s Health Programs in State Budget

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    CA: Michele Stillwell-Parvensky, senior policy and communications associate for the Children’s Defense Fund-California, was quoted in California Healthline about how Governor Brown’s revised budget maintains cuts to certain children’s health programs.  She stated, “Even though the state is financially better off right now, there were some programs that didn't get restored. Now that we're doing much better, we have the resources to fund these things."  Children Now released a budget analysis highlighting programs that would benefit from additional funding, including Medi-Cal provider rate cuts, the Early Mental Health Initiative, and the Black Infant Health Program.

  • KidsWell CA Grantees Submit Pediatric Network Adequacy Recommendations

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    CA: Children Now, The Children’s Partnership, and the Children’s Defense Fund-CA sent a letter to the Department of Insurance about children’s issues to consider as the Department modifies network adequacy regulations. The letter recommends standards on: pediatric-specific network adequacy; pediatric specialists; out-of-network provider access; culturally and linguistically appropriate provider networks; dental provider networks; and transparency. 

  • KidsWell CA Grantees Advocate for Increased Children’s Health Funding in CA Budget

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    CA: On behalf of Children Now, the Children’s Defense Fund-CA (CDF-CA), PICO California, and other children’s health advocacy organizations in California, Wendy Lazarus, founder and co-president of The Children’s Partnership (TCP), issued a statement criticizing Governor Brown’s 2014-2015 budget proposal for not allocating sufficient resources to ensure children’s health.  Though Lazarus acknowledges the inclusion of $17.5 million for pediatric dental services outreach, the statement emphasizes the need to increase funding to: bolster Medi-Cal provider reimbursement rates; strengthen access to care; and restore programs for high-risk infants and preventive dental and mental health services.  As reported by The Sacramento Bee, Michelle Stillwell-Parvensky, a policy and communications associate for CDF-CA, and Corey Timpson, executive director of PICO California, also issued statements advocating for increased funding for children’s health.
  • CDF Texas and CA Awarded a Grant for School Based Health Outreach Effort

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    TX & CA: The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Texas and California chapters were awarded a grant to support a three-year school outreach effort to reduce the number of uninsured children. The project will be an extension of CDF’s All Healthy Children campaign and will work with the American Association of School Administrators to urge school districts to develop methods to identify uninsured children (such as including questions on school enrollment forms) and connecting them to coverage through the State Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program.  

  • KidsWell California Released Statement in Response to Budget Omitting Autism Services for Children

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    CA: The Children’s Defense Fund – California, The Children’s Partnership, and Children Now released a statement in response to the budget deal reached by Governor Brown and the legislature which failed to include $50 million in funding for Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) services for children with autism in Medi-Cal. The advocates stated that, due to the decision, hundreds of children with autism will lose access to needed services. “… at a time when the state’s fiscal outlook is improving, it is unjust to pass a budget that continues to deprive children of medically necessary care and causes serious harm to children with autism and their families,” said Jamila Iris Edwards, Northern California Director of Children’s Defense Fund-California. “The State has broken its promise that no child would lose access to critical health care in the Healthy Families transition. The Governor and Legislature must act quickly to remedy the current situation and ensure these children get the services they need to grow up healthy and ready to learn,”.
  • KidsWell Grantees Give California Health Department a C-Minus on Moving Kids to Medi-Cal

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    CA: The KidsWell California Grantees submitted a letter to Cindy Mann, Deputy Administrator of CMS and Director of CMCS, providing a status report on the state’s progress and concerns they have on the transition of beneficiaries from Healthy Families to Medi-Cal. In a press release the grantees gave the California Department of Health Care Services a report card of a C-minus on the progress of the transition. Jenny Kattlove of The Children’s Partnership was featured in a HealthyCal.org article on her research on the Denti-Cal program and the possible dental crisis when an estimated one million children enroll in the program in 2014.

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