Community leaders in Santa Clara County are working to build support for a November ballot measure that aims to generate about $13.5 million annually for the county's Healthy Kids insurance program, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
Healthy Kids and similar programs in other California counties provide health care coverage to children who are not eligible for Healthy Families, California's Children's Health Insurance Program or Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program.
Healthy Kids offers coverage regardless of immigration status. Therefore, many current beneficiaries of the program would not be eligible for assistance under the federal health reform law.
The proposed ballot measure would raise funds for Healthy Kids through a $29 annual parcel tax on county property owners. The tax would run for 10 years beginning in 2011 and collected funds would not go toward administrative costs.
Proponents say the Healthy Kids program is in need of financial assistance because the economic downturn has led to a drop in contributions from private donors and foundations (de Sá, San Jose Mercury News, 7/6).