Re "Health reform could boost use of food stamps" (Editorials, Aug. 20): This editorial helps to underscore the abysmal rates at which eligible Californians are enrolled in CalFresh. The onset of the Affordable Care Act provides a unique opportunity to increase CalFresh participation significantly. California is taking the lead on implementing healthcare reform. We have established Covered California and embraced a Medi-Cal expansion to guarantee Californians are insured.
However, despite the fact that study after study has shown that nutrition is a critical component of overall health and well-being, thousands of Medi-Cal recipients, who are currently eligible for CalFresh, do not participate. Assembly Bill 191 ensures that low-income Californians receiving Medi-Cal benefits also receive CalFresh benefits and provides that children in those households are certified for free school meals. While we have more work to do, this can serve as an important first step.
--Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, Arleta