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Biggs Defends Block On Arizona KidsCare Vote

(Photo courtesy of the Arizona State Legislature)
Arizona Senate President Andy Biggs.

Senate President Andy Biggs is defending his decision to block a vote on restoring a health care program for the children of the working poor.

On Monday supporters of restarting the KidsCare program rallied at the Capitol, pointing out that Arizona is the only state without a functioning program that provides care for children whose parents make too much to qualify for Medicaid but are still below twice the poverty level.

For a family of three, that's in the range of about $27,000 to $40,000. Proponents said that forces families to choose between things like paying the rent and taking a child to the doctor.

But Biggs said someone has to pay the cost, and defended using his power to block a vote from ever happening.

"One of the reasons I was elected was to take the beating that so many want to give me. And that's fine. This is a healthy dialog. I appreciate the dialog. There are many people who disagree with me. I would suggest to you there are probably a lot of people that also would agree with me," he said.

On Monday, Rep. Regina Cobb, R-Kingman, noted she managed to get the plan approved by the House by a nearly 4­-1 margin. And she believes there are Republican senators who support the plan, as well as Governor Doug Ducey.

So far Gov. Ducey hasn't taken a position.