Phoenix, Arizona – Arizona’s governor, Doug Ducey, signed into law on Friday the children’s insurance plan that was left out from the budget in 2010. The state was the last to join the other 49 states that already offer the health insurance program for low-income children.

The plan, known as KidsCare in Arizona, is the state’s version of the federal Children’s Health Insurance program that was suspended due to a state budget crunch. About 30,000 children whose parents earn between 138 and 200 percent of the federal poverty line will now be able to receive health care. Which in turn, will cost nothing to the state at least until 2017, as reported by the Washington Post.

Backers fight for CHI in Arizona
Dana Wolf Naimark of the Children’s Action Alliance speaks at a rally, in Phoenix where backers for the Children’s Health Insurance attended to support KidsCare. Image Credit: US News

However, the program was not approved by itself. First, it had to be attached to a bill that expanded disabled student’s eligibility for school vouchers. After blocking the previous stand-alone bill authorizing the program last month, the Senate President, Andy Biggs, allowed the amended measure to come to a vote late this week. The House of Representatives had already approved 38 to 21 on Thursday.

The opponents, mostly Republicans, argued that the Affordable Care Act was supposed to cover those families earning too much to qualify for Medicaid. Later, the families would become dependent on the handouts if the program was restored, they added.

“We will see the negative consequences happen, because we cannot live our lives on borrowed dollars, we will have to face that sooner or later,” said Sen. Sylvia Allen, R-Snowflake. “And our grandchildren will be the ones to face it and will be the ones who suffer, because we cannot sustain what we are doing.”

Sen. Bob Worsley, R-Mesa argued that was important to protect this children and make sure the grow up healthy as well. Senator Worsley was one of five Senate Republicans who backed the measure. Currently, this is not costing anything to the state. And according to Worsley, it makes sense to be passionate about making sure they got it for those sick kids.

Ducey’s unclear intentions in other matters

Even though the KidsCare’s bills just passed, it is unclear which are Gov. Ducey’s intentions over a measure he just signed into last month. The measure required abortion clinics to follow an outdated protocol for the use of an abortion inducing drug.

The prior bill specified that Arizona doctors had to follow federal guidelines. But after the bill was approved, the Food and Drug Administration took it down a notch with the guidelines. And what’s more, doctors continued to follow the outdated ones, as reported by the New York Times. Arizona’s governor later acknowledged that some changes were needed to the bill later to conform to the new federal protocol.

Source: The Washington Post