Skip to comments.Gov. Brewer pushes through ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion in Arizona
Posted on 06/13/2013 5:15:02 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Another one bites the dust. — and largely thanks to a governor who, once upon a time, was an outspoken opponent of ObamaCare. Per Politico:
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer muscled her way to victory in her crusade for Medicaid expansion Thursday, outmaneuvering conservative opposition to push through a key piece of President Barack Obamas agenda.
Over the objection of Republican legislative leaders, a coalition of moderate Republicans and Democrats sent Brewer a bill on Thursday extending Medicaid to an estimated 300,000 low-income uninsured Arizonans, transforming the state into the unlikeliest of Obamacare allies at a critical time for the White House.
The vote is the end of a chapter, though not the book, on Obamacare in Republican-led Arizona, where Brewer defied and sometimes confounded her base. She not only supported the Medicaid expansion, but took extraordinary measures to push for its passage. Other GOP governors who backed Medicaid were not nearly so emphatic in fighting back against balky Legislatures.
Brewer, however, spoke loudly and carried a big stick crisscrossing the state to promote expansion and shame detractors. This month she started vetoing a stream of unrelated bills to pry her top priority loose from Republicans, and she brought them back into special session.
Oof. The specially assembled legislators in the state House passed the bill in the wee hours of the morning, and the Senate followed through this afternoon, after which her office released the following statement:
I am grateful to the Arizona lawmakers who have acted with courage and conviction by completing the people’s business.
With landmark votes today in the House and Senate, legislators have tackled the issue that is Job One every session — adoption of a responsible State budget — and enacted Arizona’s most sweeping health care legislation in decades. …
This Medicaid Restoration Plan does not solve all of Arizona’s health care challenges. But it will extend cost-effective care to Arizona’s working poor, using the very tax dollars our citizens already pay to the federal government. it will help prevent our rural and safety-net hospitals from closing their doors. And it will boost our economy by creating more than 20,000 jobs at a time when Arizona needs them most.
Uh huh. Brewer certainly isn’t the only Republican governor to fall in behind rapacious domino-effect of state-by-state Medicaid expansion, one of the biggest and most expensive components of ObamaCare — Susana Martinez and Chris Christie in the more blue-leaning New Mexico and New Jersey, as well as John Kasich in Ohio and Rick Scott in Florida — but it certainly looks like she put up the most impressively aggressive fight in the law’s favor.
Some apt closing reminders about the Medicaid-expansion provision, courtesy of Philip Klein at the Washington Examiner:
Though federal taxpayers pay for 100 percent of the Medicaid expansion at first, over time, that percentage dwindles to 90 percent, exposing states to a huge financial burden. In 2012, Medicaid already accounted for 24 percent of state budgets nationwide, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers, making it larger than than any other component of spending, including education. The expansion of Medicaid is projected to cost $710 billion over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office, but it could be more if more Republican governors such as Brewer fight successfully to expand the program. Last month, a major study found that Medicaid does not approve the physical health of its beneficiaries.
Over the objection of Republican legislative leaders?
I was under the impression that, at least in the Senate, the leadership were among the few Republicans to vote for it.
“a coalition of moderate Republicans and Democrats”
Really? More like statist socialist scum.
So much for Jan. Adios, Jan.
No 27 Republicans
Yes 24 DemonRats
Yes 9 RINOS
Same approach Boner is going to take to pass Amnesty.
Somebody got to her.
The same thing happened in AR. The first Republican majority in the state legislature since the civil war, and we get the Medicare expansion shoved down our throats by disingenuous POS’s. What in the heck is really going on? Someone either knows something that is not being shared with the rest of us, or someone has A LOT of dirt on A LOT of people.
Maybe eating all those scorpions isn’t such a good idea.
Sounds like Gov.Brewer got caught in the NSA trap.
It appears she was offered a clear choice, and she chose her own hide. Let’s hope it’s a temporary advantage.
Supposedly one of her top advisers is involved with the hospital association in Az. He’s been whispering crap in her ear for the last year, and apparently she fell for whatever he was selling.
...a governor who, once upon a time, was an outspoken opponent of ObamaCare. Per Politico:
Conservatives are being compromised at an alarming rate at every level. To paraphrase Trent Lott: “Wait until we get hold of them and they find out how things really work.”
Has she gone to the DARK SIDE??? I always thought she was Conservative!! My God....WHO can you trust???
This is like one looong Twilight Zone episode.
“Somebody got to her.”
NSA metadata, IRS threat, etc., etc.
From its pre-statehood territorial days, Arizona had a safety net to provide healthcare to the poor. It was law that counties had that financial responsibility. Arizona was the last state to start participating in Medicaid, starting in 1982.
Poor childless adults were excluded from the states Medicaid program until about ten years ago, so the county safety net continued to provide and pay for care provided to poor childless adults. However, voters then approved two propositions to cover poor childless adults under Medicaid, and county financial responsibility for their care was eliminated with a resulting change in the law.
Two or three years ago, faced with serious budget deficits, the state essentially dropped coverage for poor childless adults despite the earlier voter approved Medicaid for them. For the first time in generations, those people had no fall back coverage if they became uninsured.
All of the above had nothing to do with Obamacare. A couple hundred thousand poor we’re dropped for two years from the state’s Medicaid program despite earlier voter approval for their inclusion.
It has been a disaster for the poor with illness these past two years. The governor recognizes this and wants to restore the earlier program. The earlier program made people eligible for treatment if their income were below 100% of the federal poverty level, and that is the level that the governor wanted to restore.
Where ObamaCare comes into this picture is that it requires setting the income eligibility level at 138% of the federal poverty level instead of 100%. It is 138% or nothing, which sucks.
Arizona taxpayers will continue to pay for Medicaid services in the other states and must decide whether it will also receive the Medicaid funded services locally for poor childless adults - or - will instead pay twice by also paying higher private insurance rates (a tax on the insured) to make up the losses from doctors and hospitals as a result of no Medicaid for poor childless adults.
She is dead to me. I won’t forget this when it is time to vote.
Maybe a cut of the action?
I saw this Governor Brewer once on television; she was totally confused and inarticulate. I lost any respect for her and wouldn’t put any confidence in her.