The Arizona Legislature is expected to sine die today, and there is no doubt that KidsCare, which was passed by both houses, was the highlight of the issues that were debated at the end of a belabored session.
Reopening KidsCare was not expected to be a hot topic this legislative session, but became just that when Senate President Andy Biggs refused to allow the issue to be heard in his body after the Arizona House had overwhelmingly passed it with bipartisan support. This started a crescendo of disingenuous and manipulative outcries against President Biggs from many on the outside looking in.
Though President Biggs and other conservative warriors in the Senate stood tall and firm against KidsCare, enough Senators were able to band together in order to force the Senate to consider and to vote on KidsCare earlier yesterday morning.
Andy Biggs and a coalition of Arizona Senators stood against KidsCare because they understood that it had similar issues they faced with Medicaid Expansion just a few years ago. They were not willing to risk the future of Arizona’s financial security by renewing a program that is becoming too big and too sure to fail.
KidsCare builds more dependence on the government, which is something that conservatives should fight against no matter how hard the strings to their hearts are pulled. Yes, Arizonans should take pride in taking care of the least among us and ensuring that our children have the best starts possible; however, where does one draw the line on handing out free (or government-subsidized) care? If conservatives cannot hold the line on the expansion of government programs, then who will?
There will soon come a time when Arizona attempts to figure out how to dig out of financial holes caused by government programs gone wild and the enticement of immediate satisfaction brought on by incremental government assistance. On that day – when programs like KidsCare are seen as the problem and not the solution to the issues that Arizona will face – it will be remembered that Senators Allen, Barto, Burges, Farnsworth, Griffin, Kavanagh, Lesko, Shooter, Smith, Yarbrough, Yee, and Biggs did what they knew was right and voted no on a program that promised serious repercussions to Arizona’s future.