2022 Issues Guide: Children's Health Policy Priorities

Where We Stand: 

Children’s Action Alliance believes health care should be affordableaccessible, and accountable. Health insurance helps bolster family wellbeing and the state’s economy. It helps prevent families from racking up medical bills for care. It also improves children’s financial prospects for years – and even generations – to come. Children who have health insurance year-round do better in school and are more likely to graduate from high school. They earn more as adults and have healthier babies than their peers who did not have health coverage as children. Investing in the health of today’s children will help future generations get a strong start in life.

Fast Facts:

  • Arizona ranks 4th worst when it comes to the rate of uninsured kids in our state.
  • Over 161,000 children in Arizona do not have health coverage.
  • More than 1 in 4 American Indian Children in Arizona are uninsured.

Arizona lawmakers should  reimagine the role of health systems and government in dismantling racial, ethnic, rural, and other disparities in access to care and coverage.

The health of parents and caregivers is also important. Studies show that child health is closely tied to the health of parents before, during, and after pregnancy. Kids are more likely to get enrolled and stay covered when their parents also have health insurance. Adults with health coverage are more likely to seek preventive care for themselves and their children. This allows doctors to identify and treat diseases before they become life-threatening. Preventive care saves both money and lives in the long run.

2023 Children’s Health Policy Priorities

Arizona lawmakers should make it easier to access quality, affordable health care by making the most of the programs we have available at the state and federal levels. Making sure that Arizonans can access the care they need at a price they can afford will help build a healthy Arizona now and well into the future.

Affordability. Medicaid and CHIP (AHCCCS and KidsCare) are great tools to provide affordable health care. Arizona should make sure these programs are covering as many people as possible by:

  • Raising the income limits for pregnant people and children.
  • Investing in outreach and enrollment to help people transition from AHCCCS or KidsCare to other affordable health coverage.
  • Providing dental care to adults covered by AHCCCS.

Access. To improve access to health care and make it easier to get covered, Arizona should:

  • Get rid of the five-year residency requirement for children and pregnant people with green cards.
  • Identify state funds to cover all children and pregnant people in Arizona.
  • Do away with the 90-day wait period and monthly payments for KidsCare coverage.
  • Provide a full year of coverage to children who have AHCCCS.
  • Make it easier to apply and re-apply for AHCCCS and KidsCare.

Accountability: Our taxes pay for the critical health care services provided by AHCCCS, KidsCare, and the health care Marketplace. As investors in these programs, we deserve to know how well they are serving Arizonans. State lawmakers should:

  • Make data about health care more accessible to taxpayers.
  • Let the public easily access information about AHCCCS and KidsCare participation and performance.

2022 Issues Guide PDF