Anchorage senator seeks to expand Denali KidCare

An Anchorage Democratic Senator is seeking to build support for a scaled-back expansion of a health insurance program for low-income children.

Senator Bettye Davis' proposal would raise the income eligibility threshold for Denali KidCare from 175 percent to 200 percent above the federal poverty line for children 12 years old and younger.

Davis had pushed to expand the eligibility threshold for low-income children and pregnant women, the original threshold for income qualifications, before the program was rolled back.

She said this would have extended coverage to roughly another 1300 uninsured children in Alaska and 200 pregnant women.

But the measure failed in the Senate last year - a year after enjoying broad support in the Legislature.

Davis talked to the News Center earlier this month about the subject, and its overall importance.

Davis said that unless the governor or lawmakers have a change of heart, the only way forward is through a ballot initiative.

She said it was too late for her to consider qualifying a measure for the ballot this year, but said that it's a possibility for 2014, the next statewide general election, if something doesn't change between now and then.