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Thank You for Fighting for Health Care for Arizona Families!

Thank you for being a voice for Arizona children and families in the fight for affordable health coverage. Click the image below for a brief video message:

You can personally reach out to Senator John McCain’s office and send him a note of thanks for standing up for Arizonans by filling in this contact form online.

We ask our community partners and the public to continue to stay involved, as health care reform will be an ongoing issue in Congress in the coming months.

Statement on “Skinny Repeal” of Affordable Care Act to Sen. McCain & Sen. Flake: Vote NO

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(Phoenix, AZ) – The following is a statement from Children’s Action Alliance president and CEO, Dana Wolfe Naimark, calling on Arizona Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake to vote NO on a health care measure being debated in the U.S. Senate today, known as “skinny repeal” of the Affordable Care Act:

“Children’s Action Alliance calls on Senator McCain and Senator Flake to vote NO on the so-called ‘skinny repeal bill’ that would trigger a conference process in Congress to develop another proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

“The skinny repeal would cut corporate taxes and eliminate the mandate for health insurance. The purpose of the bill is to trigger a secretive process where a select group of Republicans would negotiate terms of a more complete bill behind closed doors during August. A proposal that is some mix of the American Health Care Act and the Senate proposals would emerge and receive very limited public review and debate with an up or down vote from Congress with no opportunity for amendments.

“This process goes in the opposite direction of Senator McCain’s clarion call for regular order, which would involve considering proposals in committee in public view with bipartisan participation and public input.

“The skinny repeal bill would exacerbate the instability and affordability problems in the private market that both Senators McCain and Flake say they want to fix. It would cut corporate taxes while threatening to wipe out affordable health care for tens of thousands of children, seniors, people with disabilities, and anyone with a pre-existing condition.

“Every proposal presented so far has punished Arizona and pulled the rug out from Arizonans who count on life-saving AHCCCS/Medicaid coverage. Senators Flake and McCain should vote no on this process bill that would lead to more of the same. Sen. McCain is highly regarded in Congress and his words mean a great deal to his colleagues, to all Arizonans, and to our country. His vote means even more.”


Health Care Reform & Medicaid Cuts: What’s at Stake for Rural Arizona

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(Flagstaff, Arizona) – Experts and advocates on rural health policy meeting in Flagstaff this week today raised concerns about the threat Congress’ efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act would have on rural communities. More than 180 attendees are meeting at the 44th annual Rural Health Conference in northern Arizona, where a major topic is cuts to Medicaid (AHCCCS).

Dr. Dan Derksen, director of the Center for Rural Health at the University of Arizona, explained that each of the health care reform bills proposed in the Senate would have a devastating impact on affordable coverage, meaning more people will choose to forgo health insurance. The effect would be disproportionately negative in rural parts of the state, where underserved populations, such as Native Americans, will be hurt by cuts to AHCCCS.

“If you kick hundreds of thousands of people off of health insurance, you are creating a hidden tax on the American people,” said Derksen. “Then, we all end up paying for increases in the costs of health care in order to cover all the uncompensated and charity care.”

Will Humble, executive director of the Arizona Public Health Association said issues involving health care reform are complicated and Congress should consider diverse perspectives from experts and others when writing bills. “[Congress]…will make better decisions and come up with better solutions when they include more voices in the process.”

Rural Arizona communities have a higher ratio of low-income elderly and people with disabilities who get lifesaving care and individual support services through AHCCCS to help them stay healthy. Additionally, one in two rural children has health coverage through AHCCCS.
Medicaid expansion significantly reduced the number of uninsured Arizonans, and brought critical access hospitals in rural areas out of the red and able to keep their doors open. Rural medical providers are worried that cuts to Medicaid will reverse these important gains.

“AHCCCS has helped tens of thousands of low-income, working Arizonans struggling with health issues get treatment they need to stay healthy,” said Siman Qaasim, director of health policy at Children’s Action Alliance. “Everything proposed in the Senate thus far would not only hurt – but punish Arizona’s rural communities – by cutting back the number of people covered and slashing jobs in one of the state’s most important and growing industries.”


We Are Hiring a Policy Associate…

Join us as we continue to serve as a voice for Arizona children in the community and at the legislature.

Click here for more information about the position and how to apply.

Happy New Year! Fiscal Year, That Is

This month marks the beginning of Arizona’s new fiscal year. What do you think fiscal year 2018 looks like compared to ten years ago? You may be surprised!

• General revenues to the state are below where they were 10 years ago – despite population growth of more than 650,000.

• The Rainy Day fund balance is $240 million LESS than it was ten years ago. It doesn’t look like we’re ready to weather the next recession.

• Ten years ago, $55 million was being diverted to private schools through the private school tuition tax credit; in 2018 that amount has more than tripled with the addition of two more tax credits plus the empowerment scholarship vouchers.

• Basic state aid funding for public schools has dropped more than $300 per student – that’s not even taking inflation into account.

• The corporate income tax rate is down; so are total state appropriations as a share of our economy.

Our Summer Newsletter for June – September 2017

Please enjoy the latest edition of our newsletter from Arizona Grandparent Ambassadors.

The Grandparents Summit is fast approaching, taking place on September 9th in Phoenix. Register today – information is available online.

Ducey’s Results-Based Funding Favors High-Income Schools

Who Are the Winners and What Results Can We Expect? 

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The largest of Governor Ducey’s twelve education initiatives is a proposed $38 million for a bonus for excelling schools. He says this is part of his promise to expand access to high quality education for all students – no matter where they live and no matter where they can afford to live.

The Governor has presented this proposal to appear that it will offer more resources to lower income students to help close the achievement gap.

But a look at the figures reveals a much different picture.

  • Two thirds of the funding — 65% goes to high income schools.
  • 77% of the students reached go to high income schools.
  • This bonus funding reaches 23%– nearly one in four — of all students in charter schools and only 11% of district students.
  • There is nothing in the proposal that expands access to high quality schools, nothing that requires any expansion of the schools getting the bonus.
  • The proposal leaves less funding available to strengthen education in all the other schools with AZMerit scores below the top 10%.

The proposal gives a bonus of $400 per student to 61 district schools and 17 charter schools that serve lower income students. This bonus is based on the schools having the AZ Merit test scores in the top 10% of schools that have more than 60% of their students who qualify for the federal free and reduced price lunch program.

The proposal also gives a bonus of $225 per student to 112 district schools and 74 charter schools that serve higher income students. This bonus is based on the schools having AZ Merit test scores in the top 10% of all schools and having less than 60% of their students who qualify for the federal free and reduced price lunch program.