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Children's Defense Fund California
"The intention of people working on the legislation is to preserve the types of benefits that are currently available through CHIP, but once you start digging through the language and provisions, it is clear that there is no guarantee that children won't be left worse off," said Lindsey Wade, senior policy associate with the Children's Defense Fund.
"This is the time for action," ...
"This is the time for action," declared Lindsey Wade, policy associate with the Children's Defense Fund, to those preparing arguments for the legislators they would visit the final day of the gathering.
provided more ammunition."No child should be a victim of the lottery of geography," she
said, explaining that differing state regulations meant thousands went without health care."We want to create one program so that every child has access to the same health care package."She
outlined another change advocates should request: insurance that "covers everything a child needs" including adequate mental health services."Twenty visits per year or less - that's not even twice a month," she
said, describing what CHIP provides now.
"We know families across the country that can't afford to get their children the mental health care they need," said Wade
."Those families are forced to resign custody and put those children in public institutions because they cannot access the services in this wealthy country."
The solution is simplification, said Wade
described the program the Children's Defense Fund
wants to see adopted: coverage for every child in families with income levels below 300 percent of the poverty line ($60,000 for a family of four); automatic enrollment when the family enrolls for any "means tested " service such as school lunches; an end to premiums so that children aren't penalized when parents forget to pay or cannot pay; and an increase in reimbursement rates to care providers so that doctors will be more willing to accept the children as patients.The CDF
also wants children who "age out" of the foster care program to receive health coverage at ages 19 and 20 as they start their working lives.
"The cost of our proposal," said Wade
, "the five-year total to get all children covered would be about $70 billion.To include the [increased] provider reimbursement rates, the five year total would be $137 billion for five years."
The annual cost would be $26 billion."That's less than three and a half months in Iraq," said Wade
."It's 16 days of military spending."
"So don't let your members of Congress tell you that they can't find the money," said Wade
Lindsey Wade | First 5 San Diego
Ms. Wade is a Senior Policy Associate for the Children's Defense Fund-California (CDF CA).
Ms. Wade tracks and analyzes state legislation and budget policy relating to children's program.
Prior to moving to San Diego, Ms. Wade worked in the Child Health Division of CDF's national office in Washington, DC.
time in the CDF
national office, Ms. Wade
lobbied members of Congress, worked with congressional staff to develop child health legislation, and monitored research and policy developments relating to child health.
Ms. Wade's career in advocacy also includes working as the Policy Director for the National Research Center for Women & Families and as a Consumer Advocate for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.
formal education includes a Master's in Public Policy from University of California, Berkeley and a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA.
experience and insight on the policy aspects of children's issues will contribute greatly to the Commission's mission that "Every child in San Diego County will enter school ready to learn."
Children's Defense Fund California
Senior Policy Associate
CANDO Platinum Research Project
Diana Zuckerman, Ph.D. and Lindsey Wade with the National Research Center for Women & Families spoke at this meeting along with Claudia Miller, M.D.