Saturday, March 25, 2023


Georgia prepares for the end of COVID-19 emergency; comment period open for experimental nuclear tech in eastern ID; Mexican gray wolf population rebounds in Arizona.


Lawmakers grill the CEO of Tik Tok over national security concerns, the House Pro-Choice Caucus aims to repeal the Helms Act and allow U.S. foreign aid to support abortion care, and attempts to ban or restrict books hit a record high as groups take aim at LBGTQ+ titles.


Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

AZ Could See Rebound in Uninsured Kids as Federal Dollars Stop Flowing


Monday, December 12, 2022   

Arizona saw 15,000 more kids get health insurance between 2019 and 2021, thanks to federal dollars which kept them and their families insured during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

In a report from the Georgetown University Center for Family and Children, Arizona still sits more than three percentage points above the national average for the number of kids who are uninsured.

Zaida Dedolph Piecoro, director of health policy for the Children's Action Alliance in Arizona, said racial and ethnic disparities play a role in access to coverage. She pointed out American Indians and Alaska Natives did see important gains, but are not where they should be in terms of health coverage.

Piecoro pointed out Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program often help offset the structural issues produced by lack of funding in the Indian Health Services system.

"Medicaid and CHIP can in particular be a really important stopgap," Piecoro explained. "Especially in Arizona where we see that American Indian and Alaskan Native children are more likely to qualify for one of those types of coverage."

Piecoro realizes the solution is not to enroll everyone in Medicaid, but rather for the federal government to fulfill its commitments to tribal nations, one of which is helping provide adequate health care to tribal members. She added Medicaid and CHIP are only part of the puzzle.

Piecoro noted the pandemic helped to usher in changes to alleviate some of the family burdens contributing to children being uninsured. One of the changes is the "continuous coverage requirement," which meant people could not be dropped from the insurance rolls during the pandemic. But when the public health emergency expires in April of next year, Piecoro expects health care may be one of the things more families go without.

"When it comes to health insurance, it oftentimes kind of falls on the back burner because for many households it is an important way to offset financial risk," Piecoro acknowledged. "But when you're in a situation where every penny counts, you're not thinking about financial risk."

When children experience a lapse in health coverage, Piecoro emphasized it can have immediate effects, but also far-reaching ones. She stressed it is important to know help is out there for enrollment and re-enrollment in programs, and parents should make sure their contact information is up-to-date with the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, Arizona's public health insurance system.

get more stories like this via email
Nevada is the only state with what is known as a summary eviction process. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The Nevada Housing Justice Alliance, tenants, lawmakers and community leaders gathered at a news conference outside the Capitol in Carson City this …

Social Issues

Family caregivers provide valuable work to Washington state - even if they don't get paid. A new report puts a value to the unpaid work they do…

Social Issues

Advocates for Michigan's LGBTQ community are calling lawmakers' move to expand the state's civil rights law to include them a victory that's "been a l…

Illinois advocacy groups say they are educating policymakers on the benefits of hospital screening as a solution to prevent medical debt, both for low-income patients and the hospital. (volgariver/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

A new report finds thousands of low-income or uninsured people in Illinois face medical debt that is depleting their savings and, in some cases…

Health and Wellness

The Iowa Senate has approved a measure allowing some medical facilities to be licensed as "emergency hospitals." This would be especially important in…

The Idaho National Laboratory is located near Idaho Falls. (MichaelVi/Adobe Stock)


The U.S. Department of Energy has opened a short public-comment window on an experimental nuclear technology in Idaho. The agency has released a …

Social Issues

School nutrition providers told Ohio lawmakers this week they're tired of hounding parents for school lunch money when their child's account accrues d…

Health and Wellness

A Georgia health advocacy group is concerned about people's health outcomes as the COVID-19 public health emergency is set to expire on May 11…


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021