State democrats: We have a plan that would save KidsCare

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

PHOENIX – Arizona lawmakers eliminated a health insurance program for poor children so they could balance the budget.

That decision has left some of our state's most vulnerable individuals with nowhere to turn for health care. House democrats say they believe they have come up with a way to save KidsCare."

The idea is to add another tax by taxing "extended warranties." House democrats believe the state would collect enough money to actually pay for this state health insurance without having to take money away from a different state program.

If so, this program could save the life of another child like it did a year ago when a 12-year-old was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Gaites Klein loves the piano, loves his yo-yo and practices a lot until about a year ago when he started having constant head pains. Her mother, Valarie, says, “I had a perfect 12-year-old boy who was having headaches - that's all.”

That headache turned out to be a brain tumor and it was already about the size of a golf ball. Valarie admits, “I lost it. I mean, what parent wouldn't?”

Immediately Gaites went into surgery and had it removed. The surgery was paid for by KidsCare.

It is a health care program specifically for kids and about 40,000 use it statewide. Last week lawmakers voted to get rid of it in order to reduce the state budget by roughly $22 million.

After June 15 Gaites will not have health insurance anymore. His mom tells 3TV, “I cried.”

The surgery is over but Gaites will forever have pills to take and have an annual MRI and, with no insurance, Valarie say she does not know what she will do.

To help re-instate the program House democrats are working on a bill that would tax "extended warranties," which are typically sold with electronic devices.

If this idea flies democrats hope to save KidsCare before it expires in the middle of June.

Valarie admits, “I was scared out of my wits. Thank god he had KidsCare.”

These letters detailing the democrats’ idea were sent out to Gov. Jan Brewer and House republicans.

House republicans would not comment about the idea on Monday and the governor’s office says she does not like the idea of another tax during these tough times.

Further information can be found at KidsCare.