Monday, December 12, 2016

And now for some good news

More Arizona kids have health care coverage, according to a study from the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. The report shows that the number of kids without health insurance dropped 30 percent between 2013 and 2015.

Enrollment for KidsCare, our state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program, was frozen in 2010. When the Legislature was debating restoring KidsCare earlier this year, Arizona ranked third in the United States for the number of children without health insurance. Democrats and community partners recognized the importance of this program, and together we led the years-long charge to restore it.

That work paid off. Earlier this year, KidsCare was restored. This move is anticipated to get free health insurance for 30,000 kids and is expected to add around $75 million to Arizona’s economy next year alone.  There are other benefits to this program. The nonpartisan Grand Canyon Institute found that KidsCare has long-term benefits as well, including increasing high school and college graduation rates.

We still have some ground to cover. Arizona's overall rate for uninsured children is reportedly 8.3 percent, while the national average is 4.8 percent. Advocates all over the state are working to change that by spreading the word that KidsCare is back. Families who meet the necessary qualifications can apply for KidsCare online or print an application here, or call 1-800-377-3536 for free assistance.

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