If you don’t have a child with autism, you might not know about Applied Behavioral Analysis. ABA is widely regarded as a necessary and effective treatment. Now many poor children will lose access to this therapy under deals reached in Sacramento last week. Meanwhile, other kids — including those who become insured under the state’s new Obamacare marketplace — may well continue to have access to this therapy.read more »
But before they start patting each other on the back, legislators and the governor shouldn't forget the health and well-being of two vulnerable populations of young people at risk of getting lost in the shuffle: former foster youth and (low-income) children with autism.read more »
When the state decided to transition low-income kids from state-subsidized private insurance — known as Healthy Families –to the state-run Medi-Cal program, families of children with autism were promised that their kids’ treatment would not suffer. But those families soon learned that one especially promising (but expensive) form of treatment was not going to be covered by Medi-Cal.read more »
Supporters of health care reform once again sounded the alarm that California has only four to six weeks left to resolve budget issues that are hampering the timely rollout of Medi-Cal expansion, a key part of Obamacare’s implementation in the state.read more »
Distrust ran high yesterday during part of a budget subcommittee hearing when the subject turned to reinstitution of a managed care organization tax. The MCO tax instituted in 2009 had the singular distinction of being embraced by the ones being taxed because the money was matched by federal dollars and was used to support the Healthy Families program. In the long run, health insurers made their money back and the state had more federal dollars in its coffers.read more »
When 4-year-old Catalena DiBattista learned her autism therapist would not return, her lips began to quiver and her eyes welled with tears. "She was very sad" before the service was temporarily restored, said her mother, Pamela. "She loves Miss Alana." She and other parents of autistic children have been on a roller-coaster ride since the state began transitioning to Medi-Cal some 860,000 children who received low-cost health, dental and vision care through its soon-to-be-defunct Healthy Families program. The shift is expected to save California nearly $64 million this year.
Daniel Harris, age 4, is just one of 600,000. But he's an important one, and not only to his mom. Daniel is one of the first kids in California to have lost insurance coverage for certain health care services as a result of the state's transition from Healthy Families to Medi-Cal managed care.read more »