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Advocates Push To Unfreeze KidsCare As Part Of New Budget

Advocates for Arizona’s Children’s Health Insurance Program, known as KidsCare, are making a renewed push to get the program included in the new state budget currently being negotiated.

The House passed a bill to unfreeze the program, but it stalled in the Senate. President Andy Biggs opposes unfreezing the program. Last week on KAETs Arizona Horizon, he talked about the last time the state had KidsCare. It ended under Governor Jan Brewer because of the cost.

Arizona is the only state in the country not to have a program like this in place. Enrollment in KidsCare was frozen in 2010. If lawmakers decide to reinstate it, the federal government will cover all of the costs to start.

Dana Naimark is president and CEO of Children’s Action Alliance. Naimark spoke about why groups are making a push for this now.

Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.