END OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD (42 states)

Time: D H M S

Arizona: State GOP rips wings off butterflies for fun, kicks 30K children off healthcare for no reason

Health plan for needy kids rejected by Arizona lawmakers:

PHOENIX - The Republican-controlled House on Tuesday refused to restore a federally-funded health insurance program for children that's used by every other state in the country.

House Democrats staged a last-ditch fight to revive the KidsCare program with an amendment to the state budget.

Republicans said allowing the amendment would have "blown up" the state budget, even though the program costs the state nothing.

...Just a few months ago, the House had passed a bill restoring KidsCare with strong bipartisan support. But Senate President Andy Biggs wouldn't give the bill a hearing in his chamber.

An estimated 30,000 children of lower-income working parents would have been covered by KidsCare. The program was suspended by the Legislature during the recession. 

The cost of the program is covered by federal dollars at least through 2017 and possibly through 2019. 

...In his 2014 run for governor, Ducey questioned the financial viability of the Medicaid program. As governor, he introduced a Medicaid reform plan that would kick 350,000 people off the rolls.

I'm not sure what the status is of the "kick 350K off Medicaid" plan referenced to at the end is, but this KidsCare thing is just plain cruel and utterly unnecessary.

KidsCare, by the way, is (or was, anyway) simply Arizona's name for the federal S-CHIP program.

As Mother Mags of Daily Kos put it:

So this evening the GOP lizard brains at the Arizona legislature refused to renewa program called KidsCare. It’s a small agency that provides vital services to at least 30,000 children. It costs the state nothing to operate the federally-funded program, which provides low-income families affordable medical, dental and vision insurance for children under 19. For $50 a month a child is insured. Every other friggin’ state in the country has one, because it costs those states nothing and it does good things.

I can see why it wouldn’t fly in Arizona.