Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas
L.A. County Board of Supervisors, 2nd District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 23, 2009 Contact: Aurelio Rojas James Bolden
BOARD SUPPORTS RIDLEY-THOMAS’ REQUEST FOR RESOLUTION URGING CONGRESS TO INCLUDE LOW-INCOME CHILDREN IN PRESIDENT’S UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE PLAN
Resolution calls for affordable and comprehensive coverage for children
LOS ANGELES – The Board of Supervisors today unanimously supported a request by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas urging Congress and the Obama Administration to include low-income children and pregnant women in its efforts to achieve universal health coverage this year.
In May, the Board met with California Congressional leaders and the Obama Administration in Washington D.C., to express strong support for universal health reform that would cover medically-necessary comprehensive services, including prescription drugs, primary and preventive care, mental health and substance abuse, vision and dental benefits.
Even with the expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, five to six million children will remain uninsured nationally, with the numbers expected to grow. About 329,000 uninsured children reside in Los Angeles County, many of whom are particularly vulnerable in this time of budget constraint and economic crisis.
“Children are particularly vulnerable in this time of economic crisis and federal and state budget curtailments,” the Supervisor said. “Urging affordable and comprehensive coverage for children would be consistent with the County’s call for universal health coverage.”
In his resolution, the Supervisor proposed that health coverage for all children should provide:
- A national eligibility level to cover all children and ensures coverage is affordable;
- A national benefit package that covers medically necessary health, mental health and dental services;
- Streamlined mechanisms to ensure children get and stay covered; and
- Adequate provider reimbursement rates to ensure children actually receive needed services.
Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said that the health services would be provided without regard to prior medical condition.
The motion authorizes the Chair of the Board to send a copy of his resolution on children’s national health reform to the Los Angeles County Congressional delegation and key Congressional Committee Members.
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