Health Agency Opposes Bill to Create Children’s Medi-Cal Advisory Panel

State health officials have logged official opposition to a bill designed to create an advisory committee on Medi-Cal children’s issues.

In a letter last week to the bill’s author, officials from the Department of Health Care Services said they were taking a stand against a legislative proposal to transform the Healthy Families Advisory Board into the Medi-Cal Children’s Health Advisory Panel.

The state eliminated the Healthy Families program in 2012 and the transition of those 860,000 children in Medi-Cal managed care plans is now nearly complete.

“The reason we did the bill is that 50% of all children in California will be covered under Medi-Cal and children’s health needs are different,” said Assembly member Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), a pediatrician and chair of the Assembly Health committee who authored the bill.

AB 357 would turn the 15-member Healthy Families board into a 19-member Medi-Cal children’s board that would be “charged with advising the state Department of Health Care Services on matters relevant to all children enrolled in Medi-Cal and their families.”

DHCS officials said they didn’t want that particular advice.

Read full California Healthline article here…