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Arizona Drops CHIP Program

Congratulations Arizona, you just left 47,000 Arizona children without health insurance. On Thursday, March 18th, 2010, Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer signed off on the new state budget which will leave Arizona’s poorest children without access to health care or health coverage.

As yet another state government is overrun by budget deficits, Arizona became the first to do away their state health insurance plan for children. Additionally, Arizona is also rolling back Medicaid rolls in order to get rid of 310,000 Medicaid recipients. They are targeting childless adults.

What the Arizona government has not realized is that this is just transferring its problem to the state hospitals which will inevitably see a huge rise in emergency room visits when the state’s poorest residents lose access to health care.  Worse, is that children suffering from developmental problems will lose care as well.

This also means that Arizona will end up losing hundreds of millions dollars in federal matching aid dollars.  Unfortunately, more cuts are on the horizon as well, if the state sales tax is not raised one cent. With state revenues down a third since 2007, the $8.9 billion budget reduced spending by about $1.1 billion.

Three states, including Arizona, had in the last year capped enrollment in the Children’s Health Insurance Program, financed jointly by states and the federal government. But two of those states — California and Tennessee — quickly removed their caps.

The 12-year-old program nationwide enjoys bipartisan support in Congress, covers an estimated 7.7 million children whose parents typically make too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to afford private insurance.

If your child is losing coverage as a result of this cutback call us now at 888 803 5917 so we can discuss your options.

The Medicaid reduction for childless adults rolls back an expansion approved by voters in 2000 and cuts enrollment about 25 percent. The expansion was to be paid for with tobacco settlement dollars, a revenue source that quickly proved inadequate.