Advocates Thank Governor Locke for Delaying Implementation of Children's Health Premiums

Seattle – The Children's Alliance today thanked Gov. Gary Locke for recognizing the importance of children's health by postponing implementation of monthly premiums for children's Medicaid until July, 2005.


Seattle – The Children's Alliance today thanked Gov. Gary Locke for recognizing the importance of children's health by postponing implementation of monthly premiums for children's Medicaid until July, 2005.

"We applaud the Governor for his far-sighted decision to delay for one year imposing premiums on low-income working families for their children's health care," said Paola Maranan, Executive Director of the Children's Alliance. "Over the past year, the number of uninsured children in Washington State has skyrocketed to levels not seen in more than a decade. Uninsured children don't just disappear, and the health consequences of losing insurance are serious. The Governor's decision is an important step in turning the tide for children's health in this state."

Over 27,500 children have already lost health coverage due to other changes made to the Children's Medicaid Program since April 2003, according to the state's Caseload Forecast Council. The state budget assumed another 4,000 children would lose insurance due to premiums.

Treuman Katz, President and CEO of Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, also applauded the Governor's decision:

"The Governor has been a leader on children's health for many years, and this decision protects the health of thousands of Washington children," Katz said. "We thank the Governor for ensuring children the early and preventive care that keeps them healthy."

About Seattle Children’s

Consistently ranked as one of the best children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical referral center for the largest landmass of any children’s hospital in the country (Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho). For more than 100 years, Seattle Children’s has been delivering superior patient care while advancing new treatments through pediatric research. Seattle Children’s serves as the primary teaching, clinical and research site for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. The hospital works in partnership with Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation. For more information, visit www.seattlechildrens.org or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.