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State Cutbacks Harm Kids’ Health Program

Re “Budget Signals Narrowed Ambitions,” Feb. 18: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s finance director, Donna Arduin, suggests that expanding California’s Healthy Families insurance program for low-income children was indulging a policy whim. To the contrary, the state-federal Children’s Health Insurance Program is recognized widely as the one genuine health policy success of the last decade. Although the numbers of uninsured have continued to increase, they would be even greater without this program.

The political agenda on both the state and federal levels is to create nearly intolerable debt in place of modest taxation of significant private revenue sources. But the voters surely didn’t intend that more children be excluded from this essential health insurance program. Or did they?

Don McCanne MD

San Juan Capistrano

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