When only one poor child can not get health insurance, that is one child too many.
That is the primary motivation for Arizona State Senator Brian Fernandez who introduced SB1487 on January 30, 2024.
This measure, if it becomes law, would expand eligibility for impoverished families at 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Level to enroll their child in KidsCare.
In a statement released by the Senate Democratic Caucus, Senator Fernandez relayed:
“…It is critical that the legislature strengthen the social safety net for Arizona’s children and in turn, provide desperately needed support to so many households across the state by providing access to affordable healthcare. This is not a handout – families pay a very reasonable premium based on a sliding scale for this comprehensive insurance coverage. Expanding access to KidsCare is an investment in our children’s health and in our state’s economy. Keeping our children safe and healthy should not be a partisan issue and I hope to see broad bipartisan support on a bill that will make a real difference in our state.”
Damita Curry, a Vice President at the Children’s Action Alliance (CAA) offered her organization’s reaction to the proposed KidsCare expansion, commenting:
“Children’s Action Alliance supports any legislation that will increase the number of children with health insurance as the rate of health insurance has been cut in half – from 16% to 8% – since 2008. Arizona must continue to pass laws to ensure all children have affordable health care to grow and thrive.”
Senator Fernandez and CAA Vice President Curry are both right.
“Arizona,” as Ms Curry stated, “must continue to pass laws to ensure all children have affordable health care to grow and thrive.”
Senator Fernandez is right to expect that this measure should receive “broad bipartisan support on a bill that will make a real difference in our state” and make poor children’s lives better.
If the state can afford a flat tax for its wealthiest, surely it can afford expanding children’s health care for its poorest.