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California Kids Move Into Medi-Cal in New Budget Deal

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, June 21, 2012
The state says the move will create one California health program for all kids in families with income up to 250% of the federal poverty level.

It will result in more than 13 million dollars in savings for the first year, and greater savings in later years.  

Dr. Ted Mazer of the California Medical Association says this is bad news for kids. He says the Healthy Families program provides better payment systems and better health access.

MAZER: "Now we're going to take the successful program recipients and throw them to the wolves in a very unsuccessful Medi-Cal program. It makes no sense."

Toby Douglas of the California Department of Health Care Services says the transition will simplify administration as well as the patient experience.
DOUGLAS: "Our plans contract with almost the same providers. We believe strongly that we will continue to be able to provide high level of access, quality of care to children." (:13)

Douglas and advocates say the Medi-Cal system will provide more health benefits to children in California's health safety net.
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