Activists call for Senate to restore Kidscare funding

- A rally was held at the Arizona State Capitol as people tried to persuade the Arizona Senate to consider a children's healthcare proposal. Arizona froze its Kidscare Program in 2010 and is now the only state without an active program.

"I don't understand why it's not being passed," said Christy Wright.

Christy and Paul Wright's son was born with a condition that to this day requires various therapies and treatments. Their son used to be on AHCCS but now they do not qualify.

"I looked at the affordable healthcare act, and there is no way that we can afford that and meet the deductibles," said Christy Wright.

"That means he doesn't get to see his dad because I have to work two fulltime jobs in order to pay to get the medical care he needs," said Paul Wright.

Before it was frozen, the program helped 63,000 children. If reinstated supporters believe up to 40,000 children would enroll. The program is paid for by federal dollars, and Arizona is the only state in the country that doesn't participate.

"So far the holdup has been one man, Senate President Andy Biggs. He doesn't support children's healthcare as a priority, and that is flat and simple," said Dana Naimark.

Biggs has not allowed the issue to come to a vote in the state Senate.

"What we are talking about is a population that Obamacare is already supposed to cover, when people say it is free, it really isn't free because it is a taxpayer funded program," said Andy Biggs.

Kidscare was cut in 2010 because of the budget crisis. One concern from opponents is what happens if the federal program ends.

"The reality for us is we're hit harder than any other state when the recession hit on a per capita basis, we're just about back with all of our jobs, so for the first time in about 10 years we're close to having a structural balance, there are other states that don't deal with that," said Biggs.

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