Uninsured kids
Wakeup call

About this project

Santa Cruz’s Healthy Kids program was wildly successful until 2009, when the battered economy threatened its funding. Like 28 other programs in California, the county’s Healthy Kids program was lauded for providing health coverage for virtually every poor child who was not otherwise insured, regardless of immigration status. By early 2010, however, the program had reached a crossroads: it was forced to freeze enrollment and faced financial struggle.

Findings

  • Santa Cruz’s Healthy Kids program was wildly successful until 2009, when the battered economy threatened its funding.
  • Like 28 other programs in California, the county’s Healthy Kids program was lauded for providing health coverage for virtually every poor child who was not otherwise insured, regardless of immigration status.
  • By early 2010, however, the program had reached a crossroads: it was forced to freeze enrollment and faced financial struggle.

Stories

County's safety net clinics feel impact of uninsured kids

Santa Cruz County's safety net health services -- community clinics and hospitals that provide many low-income and uninsured residents with their only medical treatment option -- are starting to see the impact of the area's growing number

Funding for kids health care programs unraveling

SANTA CRUZ -- Donna Gilmartin was worried. She'd moved back to Santa Cruz in 2007 and she still had no insurance for her 10-week-old son, Bryce.

Pediatrician sees stress in parents' eyes

CAPITOLA -- Increasingly, a lack of access to children's insurance is showing up -- albeit in subtle ways -- in pediatricians' waiting rooms.

Santa Cruz County Healthy Kids program once a model plan

Santa Cruz County started its Healthy Kids program in 2004, the ninth county in the state to take concrete steps toward universal health care coverage for all children.

$4 stands between mom and health care for children

Andrea Eaton is lost in the labyrinth of health insurance because of the $4 she earns each month.

A parent's worst nightmare: sick child, no insurance

Every parent knows it. The late-night sound of a child coughing uncontrollably. A flushed face that can only mean fever. A normally active child rendered listless by illness.

Father looks ahead and hopes for best

SANTA CRUZ -- Mike Welsh doesn't have health insurance.

Listening with her heart, Watsonville doctor sees more uninsured kids, worries about their health

WATSONVILLE -- Dr. Madhu Raghavan looks meaningfully at 7-year-old Christian Montoya.

Otherwise uninsurable kids find care in Healthy Kids

SANTA CRUZ -- Dina Larsen struggled to find someone willing to insure her baby daughter.

Santa Cruz pediatrician: Healthy Kids gives the uninsured 'dignity'

SANTA CRUZ -- Before Healthy Kids was created six years ago, veteran pediatrician Dr. Christine Griger could only see patients whose families had private insurance, Medi-Cal or enough money to pay out-of-pocket.

Leaders look for ways to keep Healthy Kids afloat and kids insured

Seven years ago, a group of Santa Cruz County leaders came together around a shared vision: They wanted to provide health insurance to every child in the county, regardless of immigration status or ability to pay.

Medical foundation chief sees rocky road for kids health care

SANTA CRUZ -- Larry deGhetaldi sat in the audience during one of the early planning sessions for the Healthy Kids program in 2003.

State budget cuts threaten Healthy Kids effort

SANTA CRUZ -- The future of the county's Healthy Kids program, which has successfully linked thousands of uninsured children with medical care, is hanging on policy decisions made far from Santa Cruz, and health care advocates are worried.

Impact of "Uninsured Kids"

“Uninsured Kids: Wakeup Call” was a three-day series of 14 stories published in the Santa Cruz Sentinel on Jan.

Editorial Posts

As we see it, keep children healthy

The economic uncertainty faced by many Americans is having a stark readout locally for many children.

Authors

Jocelyn Wiener

Jocelyn Wiener is an Oakland-based writer for the Center for Health Reporting.

Project Partners

© 2018 Center for Health Reporting

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