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Group says Arizona foster children, families would be hit hardest by Obamacare repeal

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PHOENIX — Foster families and children will lose the most if Obamacare is repealed without a replacement, an Arizona child advocacy group said.

At a press conference Wednesday, Children’s Action Alliance head Dana Wolfe Naimark said the Affordable Care Act covers mental and behavioral counseling for foster children and their families. If there is no ready replacement for the act — commonly referred to as Obamacare — she said foster children’s parents will have an even tougher time reuniting with them.

“Parents can’t get the substance-abuse treatment they need when their kids are in foster care to get back on track and keep their families together,” she said.

Obamacare also guarantees healthcare coverage for foster children ages 18 to 26. Desaray Klimensky, who grew up in foster care, wasn’t covered by the time she turned 18. She said the act would have helped her immensely with an emergency surgery.

“I was a 19-year-old college student, making $8 an hour at a part-time campus job,” she said. “I ended up incurring thousands of dollars in debt, along with numerous phone calls and letters from debt collectors that affected me gravely for years.

“Guaranteed health coverage for young adults, who turn 18 in foster care, makes a big difference in their real lives and future.”

Gov. Doug Ducey has said repealing Obamacare could affect as many as 600,000 Arizonans’ healthcare coverage.

Reports said repealing Obamacare could take months and developing replacement plans could take years. However, Republicans are said to be so eager to get rid of the act that they could send a bill to President-elect Donald Trump in the first half of next year.

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