As expected, the Arizona State Legislature passed the governor’s proposed $8.9 billion spending plan last week, ending an Arizona health insurance program for 47,000 low income children. The measure also cut 310,000 adults from the state’s low-income health coverage in a vote that largely fell upon party lines.
According to the article that appeared in the Arizona Republic (Arizona budget passes; cuts total $1.1 billion, March 12, 2011), Republicans said the cuts were necessary to bring the state in line with sagging revenues. Other spending cuts were also recommended to close the state’s $2.6 billion deficit for 2011. But state Democrats were not in favor of the spending cuts, saying that Governor Brewer rushed through the budget and ignored available alternatives that might have kept low-income residents insured.
Now that the Arizona health insurance programs, such as the KidsCare children’s healthcare plan, are no longer available, it is the state’s children that may suffer. Democrats argued that the permanent termination of the health plan will make it difficult to bring it back when the economy improves.
Purchasing individual catastrophic health plans may be out of reach for many low-income families, but there are some affordable options available for those who don’t qualify for Medicaid. Arizona health insurance brokers may be able to help some of the newly uninsured adults and children get an affordable healthcare plan.
If you are in need of Arizona health insurance, put the experience and resources of Anderson Insurance Services to work for you.