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Healthy Families Kids Will Move To Medi-Cal under New Budget Deal

Aired 6/21/12 on KPBS News.

The new California budget deal will move nearly 900 thousand children from one state program called Healthy Families into the state’s Medi-Cal system.

The new California budget deal will move nearly 900 thousand children from one state program called Healthy Families into the state's Medi-Cal system.

Dr. Ted Mazer of the California Medical Association said he was 'flabbergasted' by the decision, which he said will disrupt children's health care.

"Although none of these programs really pay the physicians well or the hospitals well, the Healthy Families is better able to pay for the care through federal funding, and has managed to have a better network and better access," commented Mazer.

But Toby Douglas of the Department of Health Care Services said kids will still have the same level of health services. And he said the move will create one program for all California kids in families with incomes up to 250 percent of the federal poverty level.

"We believe this will create a better experience, it will also create more administrative simplification and cost savings to the state," said Douglas.

The state will save a little more than thirteen million dollars this year and they expect to save higher amounts in coming years.

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