State extends law helping needy kids

San Mateo County families who earn too much to qualify for government health care assistance will be eligible to receive county medical help for the next half-decade, under a bill recently signed by the governor.

A 2003 law by state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, has allowed 200 extra San Mateo County kids to receive health care through government assistance each year since. That law was set toexpire in January, however, until Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill 1304 last week, allowing the program to continue through 2014.

Prior to 2003, most Peninsula residents were denied state help because their salaries were higher than the cutoff of 75 percent of the state’s median income, even though the cost of living there balanced out their earnings, Simitian said. As a result, 15 percent of the county’s $18.8 million in annual health care assistance funds were returned to the state.

The new law does not allocate more funds to the county, but rather allows the region to use its money on families in need, even if they do not meet state qualifications for health care subsidies.

In addition to the 200 extra children from low-income backgrounds who will receive health care from the county in coming years, more families will receive additional hours of medical assistance. The program has allowed for an 8 percent increase in the number of kids who can receive care at one of the county’s 22 contracted facilities, Dillman said.

The program also increases the amount children can receive compared to average California families because the cost to provide care is higher on the Peninsula, said Laura Walker, CEO of the county’s Child Care Coordinating Council.

mrosenberg@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

Just Posted

Danielle Baskin, right, and friends hung a Halloween store banner on the sign of a mostly empty tech campus on Monday as a prank. (Photo courtesy Vincent Woo)
‘BOOgle!’ Pranksers wrap Google’s SF office park in ‘Spirit Halloween’ signage

The goof says it all about The City’s empty tech campuses

Alison Collins, a member of the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education, listens during a board meeting. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Alison Collins speaks: Embattled SF school board member confronts the recall effort

‘It’s important for folks to know what this recall is about. It’s bigger than any one of us.’

Passengers board a BART train at Powell Street station on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Powell Station death serves as a grim reminder. BART doors don’t stop for anyone

What you need to know about safety sensors on the trains

Is the Black Cat affair a distraction from the recovery of The City’s storied nightlife industry or does Mayor Breed’s behavior inadvertently highlight the predicament the industry’s been in since San Francisco reinstated indoor mask requirements on Aug. 20? (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner, 2021)
Mayor Breed mask controversy highlights nightlife businesses’ plight

‘It’s what all the venues and bars are living every single day’

If he secured a full term in the Senate, Newsom would become the most powerful Californian Democrat since Phil Burton at the height of his career, or maybe ever. <ins>(Kevin Hume/The Examiner)</ins>

Most Read