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Healthy child, happy parent

With Senate Bill 18 (SB 18), the Bill of Rights for Children Youth in California, California's leaders can invest in a health care system that works for all kids and families.

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Every parent wants their child to have a happy and healthy life.

California has made incredible strides in reducing the number of children without health care insurance, but many parents still find that doctor's office doors are closed to them when it really counts. Five million children are enrolled in Medi-Cal, the state's low-income health insurance program, but the rates that California pays the doctors who care for them are some of the lowest in the country -- and it shows.

Children in California have a harder time than kids in other states getting in to see their doctors for specialist care, dental care, or even basic preventive services. It's more than simply annoying when parents can't make an appointment -- it endangers children's health and future success. Three out of four children in California aren't getting important health screenings, and the lack of access to care for children enrolled in Medi-Cal means they end up in the emergency room more often than their peers with employer-sponsored insurance programs.

In the Right Start Commission's groundbreaking report Rebuilding the California Dream, Common Sense Kids Action recommended that California's leaders invest in a health care system that works for kids and families:

  • Increase Medi-Cal and Denti-Cal reimbursement rates so parents aren't turned away when their children need to see a doctor.
  • Bolster heath care provider efforts to provide timely developmental, behavioral, and mental health screenings so doctors and parents can work together to catch potential problems early on, connect parents with supportive services if they want them, and figure out a plan that works best for their children's unique needs.

Send us your ideas!

To put solutions like these into action, we are working with California State Senator Richard Pan's office on the first round of amendments to our "For Kids" legislation, Senate Bill 18 (SB 18), the Bill of Rights for Children and Youth in California.

Tell us what you think California can do to help you raise your child to have the opportunities for a healthy and happy life at [email protected]!

P.S.: Make your parent-powered voice heard by joining Common Sense Kids Action's first-ever day of action on March 13, 2017, in Sacramento! Learn more

Teresa Machado
Teresa Machado is Common Sense Kids Action’s Policy Associate for California. She joined Kids Action in 2016 from Early Edge California in Oakland, CA, where she worked to advance policy to improve early education access and quality. Previously, she worked as a district representative for California State Assemblymember Das Williams and began her career in policy as an intern with the California State Assembly Committee on Education.