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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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Opponents of latest AR state tax cuts say they benefit wealthy Arkansans; Julian Assange agrees to a plea deal that would allow him to avoid imprisonment in US; Tech-based carbon-capture projects make headway in local government; NV nonprofit calls Biden's student debt initiatives economic justice.

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Charges against fake electors in Nevada are dismissed, Milwaukee officials get ready to expect the unexpected at the RNC convention, and the Justice Department says Alaska is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

Hundreds of thousands of CA children dropped off Medi-Cal since last year

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Monday, May 6, 2024   

Medi-Cal has dropped several hundred thousand low-income children from the health insurance rolls since April 2023, according to a new report from Georgetown University.

The data show a net drop in children's Medi-Cal enrollment of 200,000 kids between April and December of last year, as the state started redetermining participants' annual eligibility - which had been paused to ensure continuous coverage during the pandemic.

Mayra Alvarez, president of the Children's Partnership, said another 100,000 have been dropped this year.

"Some 80% of the people that lose coverage in California are losing it for procedural reasons," said Alvarez, "not because they're not eligible but because their paperwork didn't make it to the county, or they waited too long on the line and got frustrated and had to hang up, or they moved and the letter never even reached them."

The state of California has made a massive outreach effort to keep those who are eligible covered.

More than half a million children, half of California's kids, depend on Medi-Cal. And three quarters of them are children of color.

It is unclear how many kids who lost Medi-Cal were later enrolled in private coverage.

Joan Alker is a co-author of the report, and executive director of the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University. She said gaps in coverage can lead to long-term negative impacts.

"Kids are going to miss out on those well-child visits, they're going to miss out on getting the medications they need," said Alker, "be it an inhaler for their asthma or an ADHD medication. And that really sets them back, both in their health and their success in school."

A few years ago, California lawmakers passed a requirement for continuous coverage in Medi-Cal for children ages zero to five.

Alvarez said she is urging them to follow through and allocate $10 million in the next state budget to fulfill this mission.



Disclosure: Georgetown University Center for Children & Families contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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