“There’s no reason not to act,” are the words from the Arizona Republic’s editorial board on re-establishing KidsCare in Arizona.

No reason not to, and I might add, tens of thousands of reason why the state should act.

Since KidsCare (Arizona’s Child health Insurance program, CHIP) froze enrollment five years ago, more than 60,000 children lost their health coverage. Arizona is the only state in the country without a CHIP plan and that lack of affordable, child-specific coverage has led to Arizona having the third highest percentage of uninsured children in the country at close to 160,000.

Bringing back KidsCare would open up coverage for tens of thousands of those children who meet CHIP eligibility in Arizona. They are children in working family households, where the income is between $27,000 and $40,000 for a family of three. They are children who go to school without affordable, regular care when they are sick. They have a harder time learning and concentrating and many miss more school due to untreated illness. They are kids who want to play sports and go on school field trips but may not be able to due to a lack of a doctor’s permission slip. They are kids whose parents worry every night that if their child gets seriously sick, they may not be able to afford the care they need.

Arizona can do better for their children. This fact sheet from the Cover Kids Coalition and the Children’s Action Alliance shows that KidsCare would not cost the state any money, as the federal government would reimburse Arizona for 100 percent of the cost of KidsCare

One state lawmaker in Arizona has introduced a bill to re-authorize KidsCare. This lawmaker, a dentist, knows exactly why kids need access to affordable, child-centered coverage.

“Pulling from her experience as a dentist of more than 20 years, Representative Regina Cobb said kids without insurance have noticeably worse health,” the report reads.

Here’s hoping the legislature and the governor do what’s right for Arizona’s kids. After all, there is no reason not to and so many more reasons to act.

160,000 reasons Arizona should reopen KidsCare coverage: http://bit.ly/1NbW18h v/ @First_Focus #CHIPworks #InvestInKids
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