Thursday, April 29, 2010

House Dems restore KidsCare and $7B to AZ

Leadership from House Democrats restores health care for kids.

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX -- Children in Arizona now will have access to quality and affordable health care, and Arizona will receive $7 billion in federal health care funding thanks to House Democrats’ efforts to restore it.

House Democrats first alerted Republicans and Gov. Jan Brewer on March 22 to the GOP’s grave mistake to eliminate KidsCare and urged them to restore it so that Arizona would not lose its fair share of federal health care funding.

“Today is a victory for all Arizonans,” said Assistant House Democratic Leader Kyrsten Sinema. “We were happy to help Republicans and Gov. Brewer recognize their mistake to kick thousands of people off of health care and forfeit all of our federal Medicaid dollars. It is wrong to rob health care from kids and seniors.”

When Republicans and Brewer eliminated health care for 42,000 Arizona children in their budget last month, they forfeited all future federal matching funds for health care in Arizona. That action would have caused an even bigger deficit in Arizona because the state still would have had to pay for health care.

"It was mean-spirited and never necessary or smart for Brewer and Republicans to kill KidsCare," said Representative Daniel Patterson of Tucson. "House Democrats showed leadership in fighting to restore childrens' health insurance, and I'm thankful GOP members listened and worked with us to right their wrong."

“Republicans and Gov. Brewer had a choice when they passed their harmful budget that eagerly cut jobs, education and health care,” said House Democratic Whip Chad Campbell. “They made the wrong choice and we successfully pointed it out and made sure they corrected it. I hate to say it, but we told them so.”

The first action Brewer took after realizing her wrong choice to eliminate health care for kids, adults and seniors, was to call a special session to file a frivolous lawsuit against the federal government against the new health reform law.

“Instead of addressing the $7 billion hole she and Republicans created, Gov. Brewer decided to file a frivolous lawsuit that was neither based on fact nor on law,” House Democratic Leader David Lujan said. “She chose to pull a cheap political stunt —spending taxpayer dollars on a baseless lawsuit —than get any real work done. I guess she now realizes that she thought wrong.”

Today, the legislature sent Senate Bill 1043, the fix to KidsCare, to the governor for her signature.

- adapted from House Dems PIO

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