Every day, we hear about threats to the health and happiness of Arizona’s children. We can’t fix every one of the problems, but we can easily protect our children’s access to health care through the KidsCare insurance program.
Almost 34,000 Arizona children have health insurance through KidsCare – an affordable option that is once again at risk as the legislature debates whether to include KidsCare funding in the state budget.
Arizona currently receives 100 percent of KidsCare funding from the federal government, but later this year that will drop to 90 percent. We need a minor change in state law and $1.6 million from the state to keep KidsCare open. That’s just 0.02 percent of the state’s budget!
Kidscare is a lifeline for families who do not qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford private health coverage. For a modest premium, eligible families obtain necessary medical care for their children – services like cancer treatments, behavioral health services, services for autism, and asthma. Without KidsCare, these families will lose life-saving preventative care and will have to rely on high-cost visits to emergency rooms.
Gov. Doug Ducey supports continued funding for KidsCare; now we need our state legislators to support Arizona’s children by funding KidsCare.
Gretchen Hull, MD, FAAP
President, American Academy of Pediatrics Arizona Chapter