Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Crist signs KidCare legislation

Gov. Charlie Crist is stumping across the state today to mark his signing of legislation reauthorizing Florida KidCare, the state’s children’s health insurance program for uninsured children under age 19. Crist signed the bill earlier this morning in Tallahassee, and was scheduled to sign it again in Tampa at 11:15 a.m. and in Hollywood at 1:30 p.m.

State Rep. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, was one of the key players in winning legislative approval of the measure, which among other things clarifies the application of the Florida Kidcare program to include all eligible uninsured, low-income children; removes a restriction on participation in the Florida Healthy Kids; and deletes provisions that placed a limit on enrollment in Medikids
and the Florida Healthy Kids full-pay program.

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, whose mother, former Florida Education Commissioner Betty Ann Castor, helped implement KidCare in the 1990s, praised the new legislation.

"Parents and families throughout the state of Florida can breathe a little easier today knowing that Florida is committed to ensuring that children from middle class and working class families can see a doctor, receive immunizations and check ups and not break the family budget doing so," Castor, D-Tampa, said in a statement.

For more about Florida Kidcare, including eligibility requirements, visit the program's Web site.

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