News

This is our rainy day – why isn’t Arizona investing in children’s health?

The American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA, went into effect on March 11. The effort passed through Congress with several provisions that will make it easier for Americans to get high-quality, affordable health coverage. Notably, the plan increases and expands premium subsidies for health coverage through Healthcare.gov, the Affordable Care Act Marketplace. As a result, 207,000 uninsured adults can now enroll in Marketplace health coverage at no cost.

The premium subsidy increase is a tremendous move in the right direction. Unfortunately, at this point the increase is a temporary fix to larger problem of health care affordability in the U.S.

Arizona’s lawmakers must act to provide permanent relief to Arizona families by expanding eligibility for KidsCare, Arizona’s Children’s Health Insurance Program. The state’s rainy-day fund carries a balance of roughly a billion dollars, and tax revenues continue to outpace expectations. As we’ve noted previously, an infusion of federal relief funds saved AHCCCS (which administers KidsCare) $153 million in state fiscal year 2020 alone.

And yet, more than 161,000 uninsured Arizona children – the majority of whom are American Indian and/or Latino/a – live in households earning just slightly too much to qualify for the high-quality, low-cost health coverage provided through KidsCare.

Insuring children is an investment in Arizona’s future. When uninsured kids have access to coverage through Medicaid or CHIP, they come to school ready to learn. They’re more likely to graduate from high school and pursue secondary education. They earn more as adults, and are more likely to give birth to healthier infants than those who remained uninsured throughout childhood.

That’s why we’re urging our followers to contact lawmakers now and ask that they expand KidsCare income eligibility in the state budget. To make it easier for you, we’ve put together a click and send advocacy platform – just put in your name and address, and the system will do the rest.

Want to do more?

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Join us for Healing: Through the Eyes of a Child, October 28th

We miss you! Let’s reconnect to support the well-being of children, to honor child advocates who made a remarkable difference during an unimaginable year, and to again show our commitment to help create an Arizona where all children thrive. When? October 28th, 2021 5:00PM-8:00PM Where? University Club…

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Let’s Keep the Progress Going

As the COVID-19 crisis approaches its 18th month, we are just now beginning to get a full picture of the damage the pandemic has done to our children and families, our schools, institutions, and our communities.  Initial data gave us a frightening look into how the pandemic might permanently damage…

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Study Shows Contact with CPS Too High and Disproportionate by Race and Ethnicity

A recent report from the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences found that for many children in the United States, especially Black children, encounters with the child welfare system are commonplace. The study looked at the prevalence of contact with Child Protective Services (CPS) across…