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Most journalists don't pay much attention to their local "medically indigent" program, which offers health care to poor people who don't qualify for Medicaid or other government programs. But that's one of the local programs that could be at risk under health reform.

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As Congress considers a major overhaul of the U.S. health care system, Health Dialogues examines how the new state budget will affect health care closer to home. Will kids in low income families be able to get basic services? What about drug treatment programs mandated by Proposition 36? And how may where you live affect the care you'll get?

Healthy Families Long-Term Stability in Question: Find out what it's like to be a 15 year-old girl without health insurance, as Health Dialogues hears from one of nearly 80,000 children on the Healthy Families waiting list backlog.

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Peter Long is the president of the Blue Shield of California Foundation. Previously, he was senior vice president for executive operations at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. He also was the director of research and planning at The California Endowment. He was promoted to that position after serving as senior program officer for the Endowment's Access to Health program, the arm of this grant-making organization that works to increase access to quality, affordable health care and services for the state's underserved populations.

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Christopher Perrone is deputy director of the California HealthCare Foundation's Health Reform and Public Programs Initiative. Previously, he was senior program officer for the foundation's Public Financing and Policy Program, which works to develop solutions to problems in publicly funded health care and safety net programs, including Medi-Cal and Healthy Families. Perrone was the director of the foundation's Medi-Cal Policy Institute, which has now been folded in to the Public Financing and Policy Program.

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Brian D. Smedley, Ph. D., is vice president and director of the Health Policy Institute at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. He oversees all operations of the institute, which explores disparities in health and makes recommendations on how to resolve these concerns. Mr. Smedley was formerly the research director and co-founder for The Opportunity Agenda, a communication, research and advocacy organization.

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