Earlier this year, the Arizona Court of Appeals affirmed the Maricopa County Superior Court decision upholding former governor Jan Brewer’s Medicaid (AHCCCS) expansion plan in 2013. AZ Court of Appeals upholds Medicaid (AHCCCS) expansion plan.
The “Kochtopus” Death Star, the Goldwater Institute, which is litigating the case on behalf of our lawless Tea-Publican legislators who are parties to this lawsuit, of course appealed the decision to the Arizona Supreme Court. Jan Brewer’s Medicaid (AHCCCS) expansion plan goes to Arizona Supreme Court.
The Arizona Supreme Court has now said it will hear the appeal. The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reports, AZ Supreme Court to decide on Medicaid tax:
The state’s high court agreed Tuesday to decide whether a levy that funds Arizona’s expanded Medicaid program was illegally enacted.
Without comment, the justices said they want to give foes of the levy — current and former state lawmakers — a chance to make the case that it really is a tax.
What the court decides will be significant, as it takes a two-thirds vote of both the House and Senate to raise taxes [the “Two-Thirds for Taxes” Amendment, Prop. 108 (1992)]. . And since the measure did not get that margin, a finding that the levy actually is a tax would mean the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, the state’s Medicaid program, could no longer collect it.
More significant, without the approximately $265 million being collected each year, the state could no longer afford to provide care to about 400,000 Arizonans who were added to the plan as a result of the 2013 action.
Tuesday’s action does not mean the justices have already reached a conclusion. But just the decision to review lower court ruling upholding the legality of the levy places it in potential jeopardy.