Tag Archives: KidsCare

Suffer the Children: Congress jeopardizes CHIP funding

It has been almost two months now since Congress allowed the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to expire at the end of September.

As Joan McCarter at Daily Kos recently noted:

This is unprecedented. It’s obscene and unconscionable. Never before has Congress allowed funding for children’s health and community health center expire—even when they were playing games with debt ceilings and government shutdowns, Republicans funded health care for kids and for the underserved. Not this year, not when they have tax cuts for rich people and corporations to focus on.

When last we visited this controversy, Tea-Publicans in Congress were holding CHIP funding hostage as leverage in their never-ending sabotage of “Obamacare.”

Earlier this month, House Passes Children’s Health Insurance Bill, But Kids Are No Closer To Health Insurance:

The House passed a bill Friday reauthorizing the lapsed Children’s Health Insurance Program. But instead of a bipartisan affair that Democrats and Republicans could pat themselves on the back for, the bill became a partisan fight over offsets that ultimately moves Congress further away from renewing CHIP.

The bill that passed Friday 242-174 ― with 227 Republicans and 15 Democrats voting yes, and 171 Democrats and 3 Republicans voting no ― almost certainly won’t become law. Instead, Congress will likely wait for an end-of-the-year spending bill to reauthorize the program, which covers roughly 9 million low-income children and pregnant women.

According to Democrats, the problem with the bill, which would extend CHIP for five years and reauthorize community health centers and other public health programs for two years, is that it would pay for children’s health insurance by taking money from a preventive care fund. The GOP bill would also use new Medicare means-testing to partially pay for CHIP.

Continue reading

200 Stories: Healthcare Forum Attendees Reject Repeal of ACA

healthcare forum

Approximately 75 people attended the open mice healthcare forum.

For months, the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress have been trying every trick in the book to eliminate the Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare”). Multiple repeal and replace bills died during the summer of 2017, thanks to public outcry against kicking millions of Americans off of health insurance while giving tax breaks and sweetheart deals to insurance companies and others. Overwhelmingly, Americans said: We want a health insurance system that is fair, affordable, and wide-ranging in its coverage.

Fast forward to November 2017, and the Republicans are at in again. Rather than hiding tax cuts for the rich in health insurance bills (as they tried last summer), they are hiding an ACA poison pill in the middle of a tax cut bill for the uber-rich.

Do the American people want to go back to market-driven health insurance with high costs and limited access to care and drugs? Do they want millions of adults to lose their insurance altogether– with the fight to rollback Medicaid expansion? Do they want poor children to lose their insurance– with the pending sunset of KidsCare? No! Citizen backlash on social media and in the streets has been strong and swift. In Southern Arizona, protesters have dogged CD2 Congresswomen Martha McSally, who voted for Republican plans to eliminate the ACA, kick millions of Americans off of health insurance, cut taxes for big corporations and the uber-rich, and raise taxes on the rest of us. Do Tucsonans agree with McSally and the Republican Party?

Continue reading

LD 2 House Race: Gabaldón and Hernandez v. Ackerley

Tea-Publicans in “blue” Pima County have a simple strategy for picking off House seats in Democratic voter registration districts: single-shot voting. If all Tea-Publicans vote for only their candidate out of GOP tribalism, and Democratic voters fail to do the same with their candidates — as they frequently do — it is statistically possible for a Tea-Publican to steal a seat.

ld2-houseThis is what happened in 2014 when John Christopher “Chris” Ackerley, in his second run for office, managed to defeat Demion Clinco, who had been appointed to the House seat earlier in the year to fill a vacancy. There were a number of reasons for Clinco’s loss, but better name ID and favorable reporting in the Green Valley News and Sahuarita Sun certainly were factors.

Ackerley is a math and physics teacher who runs on education issues. He is frequently cast by the media as a “moderate” because he is sane and occasionally departs from his party’s ideological leadership, e.g., referring to Governor Ducey’s and the GOP leadership’s budget for K-12 education funding and Prop. 123  as the “robbing Peter to pay Paul plan”; he was a sponsor of the bill to restore JTED funding slashed by the previous Tea-Publican legislature; he voted to restore KidsCare funding over the GOP leadership’s objection; and he voted against SB 1516, the GOP’s “dark money on steroids” bill, which was enacted into law.

Continue reading

LD 2 Senate Race: Dalessandro v. Kais

dalessandro-kaisThe Legislative District 2 Senate seat is currently held by Democrat Andrea Dalessandro, who previously served in the Arizona House.

(Dalessandro is the one in glasses).

Her Tea-Publican opponent, Shelley Kais, is a business woman who served as a campaign volunteer for Martha McSally during her 2012 run for Congress. Kais challenged McSally for the GOP nomination in 2014, finishing in a distant third place with less than eight percent of the vote, behind McSally and Chuck Wooten. You may recall that the local Tea Party raised a stink about McSally and Kais pulling out of a scheduled debate with Chuck Wooten in 2014.

Kais is now running for the LD 2 Senate seat as a Clean Elections candidate against Senator Dalessandro, also a Clean Elections candidate. LD 2 is a Democratic voter registration district.

Kais is backed by the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC), which lists her in its “16 in ’16: Races to Watch,” Comprised of the RSLC’s Future Majority Project (FMP) and Right Women, Right Now (RWRN) candidates running for state-level office.

Continue reading

Public pressure rolls GOP leadership on KidsCare; imagine what could be accomplished if you threw these Tea-Publicans out of office in November

Let’s be clear on these points:

  • Pedi_ExamDemocrats in the Arizona legislature stood united in restoring KidsCare to an estimated 30,000 Arizona children. Democrats provided the core of the votes needed to pass restoration of KidsCare. Kudos!
  • Governor Doug Ducey and Tea-Publican legislative leaders did not include KidsCare in the GOP budget passed earlier this week, and the Governor never advocated on behalf of the KidsCare program. The Governor eventually signed the bill that included KidsCare restoration only under public pressure, and only to mitigate the public relations disaster that KidsCare restoration had become for him. Governor Ducey deserves absolutely no credit. Period.
  • Tea-Publican leadership in the House and Senate got rolled by public pressure to pass KidsCare restoration. The handful of GOP defectors does not mitigate the fact that the overwhelming majority of the Tea-Publican Caucus stood ideologically, some virulently opposed to restoration of KidsCare.
  • Tea-Publican leaders are already threatening to file a lawsuit to overturn the KidsCare restoration, just as they are currently in court seeking to overturn the Medicaid (AHCCCS) expansion bill from two years ago, both overwhelmingly supported by the public.

The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reports, Ducey signs KidsCare children’s health insurance bill:

Arizona is going to restore a program it shelved six years ago to provide health care to the children of the working poor.

Without comment, Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation Friday to allow Arizona to accept federal dollars to restart the KidsCare program. Backers say it could help about 30,000 children.

Continue reading

Grand Canyon Institute: restoring KidsCare an economic boost to Arizona

It is past time that Governor Ducey man up and do right right by Arizona’s children, and demand that the Senate vote and approve the KidsCare restoration bill HB 2309 as part of his budget. It is not only the morally correct thing to do, but it would give an economic boost to the state. And we all know that our Tea-Publican governor and legislature only care about money.

The Arizona Republic reports, Study: Expanding KidsCare would mean $75M jolt:

Pedi_ExamIf Arizona lawmakers decide to restore the KidsCare program during state-budget negotiations, it would deliver $75 million in economic benefits to Arizona next year as well as extend health coverage to 30,000 or more kids, a new report concludes.

The Grand Canyon Institute said in a report issued Wednesday that providing health-care coverage to low-income kids also would deliver long-term economic benefits with fewer high-school dropouts and more college graduates.

Executive Summary: Restoring KidsCare: Annual and Long-Term Benefits Far Exceed Cost to the State; read the Full Report (.pdf)

Continue reading