- Associated Press - Thursday, May 5, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - The Latest on the legislative effort to restore KidsCare (all times local):

6:50 p.m.

The Arizona House has passed a bill restoring a program providing health insurance to low-income children.

Backers used a legislative maneuver to get their proposal moving after previous efforts failed. But that effort left bad feelings among opponents who likened the effort to the divisive 2013 fight over Medicaid expansion.

The measure restoring KidsCare program passed on a 38-21 vote and was immediately sent to the Senate for action. Its fate there remains unclear because Senate President Andy Biggs blocked a previous version.

Rep. Regina Cobb of Kingman added the KidsCare language to a bill that slightly expands a school voucher program.

Thursday’s efforts by Republican backers of KidsCare were needed Biggs and others fought an effort to get it in the state budget passed this week failed.

Backers say they expect it will insure 30,000 children at no cost to the state.

Opponents worry the state will be on the hook of the federal government stops paying for the program. They also complained that backers cut off debate.

2 p.m.

Backers of a proposal to restore a program providing health insurance to low-income children are using a legislative maneuver as a last-gasp measure to get their proposal enacted into law.

Thursday’s efforts by Republican backers of KidsCare came after Senate President Andy Biggs blocked a bill that passed the Arizona House and Biggs and an effort to get it in the state budget passed this week failed.

Rep. Regina Cobb of Kingman and other House Republican supporters are working to place the KidsCare program on a bill that slightly expands a school voucher program.

Backers say they expect it will insure 30,000 children at no cost to the state.

Opponents worry the state will be on the hook of the federal government stops paying for the program

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