Monday, March 22, 2010

House Democrats urge GOP to restore health care, close loophole

House Democrats urge GOP to restore health care, close loophole
Republicans' elimination of KidsCare eradicates all health-care federal matching funds

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Democrats urged House Speaker Kirk Adams today to allow them to introduce bills that could save health care for children, seniors and adults by closing a simple tax loophole.

When Republicans and Gov. Jan Brewer eliminated health care for 42,000 Arizona children in their budget last week, they forfeited all future federal matching funds for health care in Arizona. Even if the federal matching dollars are gone, Arizona still will have to pay for this health care with state dollars, creating an even bigger budget deficit.

“Republicans just made tough times tougher and just pushed Arizona down the wrong track for years to come,” said House Democratic Leader David Lujan. “It’s an easy fix to close just one tax loophole and restore health care for kids in Arizona so that we can make sure all Arizonans get their fair share of federal tax dollars.”

KidsCare, Arizona’s health care for middle-class children, has saved Arizona money in the long-run, providing preventative services to keep kids out of the emergency room.
The national health reform bill passed Sunday states that KidsCare must be maintained until 2019 to receive federal matching dollars for all health care.

“While Gov. Brewer and Republicans have chosen to eliminate KidsCare and the accompanying 3:1 federal match that accompanies it, I cannot understand that they would be willing to forfeit all of our federal Medicaid dollars,” said Assistant House Democratic Leader Kyrsten Sinema. “Today, House Democrats asked Speaker Adams to allow us to make this easy fix to save these vital programs for Arizona’s kids.”

If allowed by Speaker Adams to be introduced, House Democrats’ bills would close a tax loophole that gives away a tax break on warranty purchases and fully restore and fund KidsCare.

“Republicans knew the simple fix existed to close tax loopholes like this, but they chose to cut health care instead,” said House Democratic Whip Chad Campbell. “Here’s a chance for them to do something right. I don’t know why anyone would refuse to close a loophole and rob health care from kids. It’s just wrong.”

(Read the Letter to the House Speaker and Chairman)
(Read the Letter to the Governor)
(Read the Letter to CMS)

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