Author: Jessi

McSally embraces Trump, her military service as she enters Senate race

Ariana Bustos and Chris McCrory Friday, Jan. 12, 2018 McSally embraces Trump, her military service as she enters Senate race PHOENIX – Rep. Martha McSally, R-Tucson, announced her bid for Senate Friday, immediately becoming the frontrunner in a crowded Republican primary field whose winner is expected to face an unusually tough Democratic challenge this fall. McSally’s candidacy comes just days after former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s unexpected announcement that he would run for the seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Jeff Flake. They join former state Sen. Kelli Ward, who announced her run in 2016, after she failed to unseat Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, in a GOP primary challenge. McSally’s campaign kicked off Friday morning with a web video that emphasized her service as an Air Force pilot, touted her positions on national security and aligned her with President Donald Trump. That was followed by campaign rallies in Tucson, Phoenix and Prescott, with McSally piloting a vintage plane from spot to spot. At the Phoenix event, held inside a hangar at Sky Harbor International Airport, McSally addressed a crowd of about 75 sign-waving supporters, doubling down on her tough immigration stance and military background. While aligning herself with the president, McSally dodged a question on reports that Trump made vulgar remarks about Haiti and African countries in a White House immigration meeting Thursday. She vowed instead to reach...

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Arizona has just 21 foster families for refugee children

Nicole Tyau Friday, Jan. 12, 2018 Arizona has just 21 foster families for refugee children Most refugee children are from Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia and are in need of a foster family to help them. Phoenix is one of 12 U.S. cities that accept refugee children under the Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program. Though Arizona accepted thousands of refugees last year, only 21 foster families are licensed to help them. Even before in Arizona, most child refugees often have spent months in refugee camps overseas while being screened for permission to come to America. And though Catholic Charities of Arizona is tasked with finding foster families, few are willing or able to accept refugee children. “There is not sufficient capacity to help all the kids who need it,” said Katie Kuennen, associate director of children’s services for the United States Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Clairette Clinger, director of the Catholic Charities Unaccompanied Refugee Minor program, said President Donald Trump’s administration has “stigmatized” refugee minors and hampered efforts to recruit foster parents. She said she has heard a lot of reasons why potential foster parents don’t want to take in these refugees, like they are “bad children” or they “are already broken.” “You have this type of sentiment that foster children are always going to be in trouble,” Clinger said. “But they’re not. It’s a child...

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Feds say states can move forward on work requirement for Medicaid plans

Austen Bundy Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018 Feds say states can move forward on work requirement for Medicaid plans WASHINGTON – Federal officials issued guidelines Thursday that will let Arizona and nine other states move ahead on proposals to require that able-bodied Medicaid recipients are either working or involved in “community engagement activities” to be eligible for coverage. The guidance released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is not final approval of the state plans, but could clear the way for those states to start demonstration programs that are more flexible and better suit the needs of their populations, federal officials said. They also cited research that claims working or actively engaging in the community can improve overall health. “People who participate in activities that increase their education and training are more likely to find sustainable employment, have higher earnings, a better quality of life, and, studies have shown, improved health outcomes,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a release announcing the change. But critics said the move would harm Medicaid recipients in Arizona and elsewhere, and called it little more than another attempt by the Trump administration to undermine the current health care system. “They have no evidence of anyone taking advantage of the system, so this just becomes another obstacle for people to overcome in order to get Medicaid benefits,” said DJ Quinlan, spokesman for...

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Arizona gets federal OK for work requirement for Medicaid recipients

Austen Bundy Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018 Arizona gets federal OK for work requirement for Medicaid recipients WASHINGTON – Arizona is one of 10 states that got federal approval Thursday to move ahead on proposals to require that able-bodied Medicaid recipients are either working or involved in “community engagement activities” to be eligible for coverage. The guidance released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) clears the way for those states to start demonstration programs that are more flexible and better suit the needs of their populations, federal officials said. They also cited research that claims working or actively engaging in the community can improve overall health. “People who participate in activities that increase their education and training are more likely to find sustainable employment, have higher earnings, a better quality of life, and, studies have shown, improved health outcomes,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a release announcing the change. But critics said the move would harm Medicaid recipients in Arizona and elsewhere, and called it little more than another attempt by the Trump administration to undermine the current health care system. “They have no evidence of anyone taking advantage of the system, so this just becomes another obstacle for people to overcome in order to get Medicaid benefits,” said DJ Quinlan, spokesman for the Arizona Alliance for Healthcare Security. The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System,...

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