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State Senate Leader Pledges to Insure All Kids



Senate President Pro Temp Darrell Steinberg says he wants to expand health insurance to all California children within 120 days. Some think his pledge is too ambitious, but others say it's an achievable goal. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.


About 760,000 thousand California children are uninsured. It's estimated it would cost 400-million dollars to expand health coverage to all of these kids.


Ted Lempert heads up the advocacy group Children Now. He thinks it's a definite possibility.


Ted Lempert : The dollars we're talking about here, are really a very tiny percentage of the state budget. And so the key here is saying if this is the top priority, even during a budget crisis, we can pull the dollars together to get this done.


But the state is facing an 11-billion dollar budget deficit. Expanding children's health insurance may require raising taxes. That's something Republican lawmakers have refused to consider.


Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.



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