About two million California children will continue to receive health care through the federal-state Children’s Health Insurance Program.
The federal budget deal that ended the government shutdown reauthorizes the CHIP program for six years.
H.D. Palmer of the California Department of Finance says Governor Jerry Brown’s budget had planned for federal subsidies to taper off in March, with the state picking up the tab.
“We’ll realize at least $150 million in savings when we revise our budget in May, associated with this program,” Palmer says. “But more important is the fact that we’re not sitting here wondering what’s going to happen with coverage for over a million young children and expecting moms in California.”
The federal government will continue to cover almost 90 percent of the program’s cost for the next two years, at about 3 billion dollars per year. After that, the federal share decreases, ultimately to 65 percent, with the state paying the rest through the Medi-Cal budget.
The Brown Administration also expects negligible effect in California from the brief federal government shutdown.
“We dodged a bullet,” says Palmer. “It was basically too brief. It wasn’t so long that programs that required federal dollars or federal personnel to implement those programs were going to be furloughed for any length of time.”
California has more than 250,000 federal workers, including military, in the state.