ASU Professor Argues For Increased State Funding For KidsCare
The Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, was reauthorized at a federal level last week, funding services in Arizona for approximately 25,000 children.
The Legislature froze CHIP, also known as KidsCare, in 2010, then reinstated it in 2016.
Swapna Reddy is a professor at Arizona State University in the College of Health Solutions, and said funding should be a consistent priority at the state level.
“I think it is really dangerous what we do, at this state specifically, which is we create this narrative of people that need help, need public programs, as those that are takers,” Reddy said.
Since Arizona operates a small state government, Reddy said we need to be more consistent about what is considered a worthwhile use of resources.
She said the state needs to be invested in order for people to feel secure, that relying on federal funding makes the conversation about politics, instead of about Arizona’s families.
“So, if we are completely dependent on the federal government to provide the minimal amount of assistance we are providing to these families, we are also allowing the families to be subject to the politics that’s playing at the federal level.”
Reddy said at the state level, we should be asking if certain populations, including children and the elderly, need to be given priority with program funding.