The 2018 budget proposal by Governor Jerry Brown reinforces California’s commitment to the progress made in children’s health coverage. Furthermore, it is a key example of the critical importance of state and local action, to help us advance as a nation despite the challenging national climate. Over the past 25 years, California has made incredible progress in its efforts to support the health of all children living in the state. Today, California covers more than an estimated 98% of children and youth with comprehensive health coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and the State’s expansion of Medicaid to all children, regardless of immigration status. These important investments reflect the state’s commitment to its diverse constituency, specifically California’s children – half of whom are part of an immigrant family.
The path toward coverage for all children serves as an example for the policy victories made possible by a strong and diverse coalition that unites a number of different issues and experiences. In today’s political environment, this coalition and its unwavering commitment is all the more necessary. Our new report, A Golden Opportunity: Lessons from California on Advancing Coverage for All Children, offers a look at the steps that led California to coverage advancements for children but also provides universal lessons for future social change. While every state is unique in its approach, we hope these insights can be adapted to fit the specific circumstances in a variety of other states and localities.
At The Children’s Partnership, we have proudly joined national, state and local partners to demonstrate our continued commitment to support the health and well-being of all of California’s children and their families – and ultimately all Americans, no matter where they are born. As we reflect on the two decades of progress made toward inclusion and equity – from Proposition 187 to Health4All Kids, we believe California serves as an example of advancing policies and efforts that best meet the needs of its diverse communities.
Working together to push back on federal efforts that undermine our progress, and remaining committed to the wellbeing of all children and families will help us provide a bright future for every child in California and for all of us.