A large number of California counties have taken bold steps to extend health insurance to all poor and near-poor children through county-based Children's Health Initiatives. The Los Angeles Healthy Kids program extends coverage to uninsured children in families with incomes below 300 percent of the federal poverty level who are ineligible for Medi-Cal (California Medicaid) and Healthy Families (its SCHIP). A four-year evaluation of Healthy Kids finds the program has improved access for more than 40,000 children, most of whom are immigrant Latinos, who have almost no access to employer coverage. However, sustaining this program has proved to be challenging.
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