Because of budget shortfalls, states are reducing coverage and cutting reimbursement rates for programs like Medicaid. But Arizona became the first state to drop the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) altogether. (Source)
Arizona will also reduce Medicaid coverage for childless adults. The state simply doesn’t have enough money to operate SCHIP or continue to cover so many adults without children.
Arizona’s budget shortfall for 2011 is $2.6 billion. “Arizona is navigating its way through the largest state budget deficit in its long history,” Governor Jan Brewer told the New York Times. “With my signature on this budget, the first major step to recovery has been taken.” Arizona voters will decide in May whether to pass a one-cent sales tax increase for three years.
Cutting SCHIP is controversial, to say the least.
How is SCHIP doing in Texas? According to the Dallas Morning News, the program is $72 million short in the current two-year budget.