Obese children are two times more likely to experience three or more health issues such as asthma, headaches, depression and developmental delays than healthy weight children, according to a UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities study to be published in the journal Academic Pediatrics. KPCC's "KPCC News."
More than 20% of California children live in poverty, while the childhood poverty rates among Latinos and blacks are higher at about 33%, according to a report released Monday by the Center for the Next Generation. Meanwhile, a separate report by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health found that the number of California children decreased by about 200,000 between 2000 and 2010 and is on track to fall by another 100,000 by 2020. Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert" et al.
Children's health care advocates are worried that coverage offered through the state's health insurance exchange will not meet certain standards. Insurers argue that premiums would increase dramatically if children were offered better coverage. KQED's "State of Health."
Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Diana Dooley says that California will begin transitioning children from the Healthy Families program to Medi-Cal on Jan. 1, 2013, despite concerns that the plan is inadequate. Los Angeles Times' "PolitiCal."
A Los Angeles Times editorial states that the "Brown administration seems determined to phase out Healthy Families as rapidly as it can." However, it adds, ensuring that "low-income kids have access to the health care they need ... is more important than maximizing the potential savings to state government." Los Angeles Times.
Insurers Health Net and CalViva say they are unsure whether physicians who care for children enrolled in Healthy Families will continue treating them after the children are shifted to Medi-Cal, which has lower physician reimbursements. California Watch.
The William S. Hart Union High School District plans to expand a first-of-its-kind program that allows Santa Clarita parents to track the results of random drug tests given to their children. More than 2,000 -- or 10% of -- junior high and high school students currently participate in the no-cost program, and officials would like to increase participation by 3% annually. Los Angeles Times, AP/Sacramento Bee.
Only 31% of fifth-, seventh- and ninth-graders in California passed all of the fitness measures included in the 2012 Physical Fitness Test. A state public school official says the recent findings highlight a growing public health problem. AP/San Francisco Chronicle, North County Times.
A study finds that about 11% of state children were uninsured in 2011, a higher rate than the U.S. average. It finds that more than 75% of those children were eligible for Medi-Cal or Healthy Families. Los Angeles Times, California HealthCare Foundation release.
According to a Congressional Budget Office report, federal spending on Medicare, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program will account for 6.3% of gross domestic product by 2020. Such spending accounted for 4.7% of GDP this year. The Hill's "Healthwatch" et al.
When California transitions 6,791 Santa Cruz County children from Healthy Families to Medi-Cal, access to dental care could be affected. Those children will be covered by Denti-Cal, which has one of the lowest Medicaid reimbursement rates in the U.S., and many dentists do not accept such beneficiaries. HealthyCal.
State officials have detailed their plan to move about 863,000 children from Healthy Families to Medi-Cal in four phases, starting in January 2013. Some children's advocates are calling for a delay in the transition. Sacramento Business Journal et al.
A study finds that the health and well-being of California children varies based on factors such as where they live. The study measures the status of kids across 28 quality-of-life indicators, such as healthy weight and access to health insurance. Contra Costa Times et al.
Dientes Community Dental Care in Santa Cruz County has received a $1.4 million grant to add a pediatric wing to its Mid-County location, which will help expand dental care availability for low-income county residents. The grant was the largest of three that the county received under the federal Community Development Block Grant program, which awarded more than $51 million statewide last week. Santa Cruz Sentinel.
The California Legislature has approved several health-related bills, including legislation to extend a law requiring treatment for people with severe mental illnesses who do not realize that they require care. AP/U-T San Diego et al.