CAP Christian Taliban threatens Governor Brewer’s Medicaid (AHCCCS) restoration plan with specious claims about abortion


Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Mullah Cathi Herrod and her Christian Taliban at the Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) have emerged as a principal opponent of Governor Jan Brewer's Medicaid (AHCCCS) restoration plan. These fetus fetish anti-abortion extremists, who imagine abortion lurking in every bill in their fevered minds, have put forward specious claims that the Governor's plan will somehow "indirectly" provide funding for abortions, even though state and federal law has long prohibited such funding.

These radical extremists would rather see real live cancer patients and transplant patients in desperate need of AHCCCS healthcare coverage die, because they imagine a fictional fetus might somehow, someday be aborted. I fail to discern any "Christianity" in this position. WWJD?

The Arizona Republic reports,

Arizona abortion issue heightens Medicaid standoff:

Brewer’s office is preparing language, to be amended onto a separate
bill, that would ensure no federal expansion funding goes to health-care
providers that perform abortions.

The move is a response to lobbying from Cathi Herrod, president of
the Center for Arizona Policy
, who says Medicaid expansion would
subsidize abortions — a claim that puts in a political vise
anti-abortion GOP lawmakers who back the governor’s proposal.

[Herrod first raised the abortion issue in late March in a letter to
Brewer, using an opinion from a Christian legal-defense organization to
argue that the draft Medicaid legislation should be amended to
disqualify the non-profit women’s health provider Planned Parenthood and
other abortion providers from receiving public money.]

“In response to some of the concerns raised by lawmakers, the
governor has been willing to revisit this issue,” Brewer spokesman
Matthew Benson said Tuesday. “It’s become clear that it would be
difficult to move forward with Medicaid restoration until some of these
legislative concerns about abortion are addressed.”

[A]lthough an abortion-related bill would be separate from Medicaid
expansion, reaction from Democrats ranged from squeamish to furious.
Some are angry that they weren’t consulted by Brewer’s office; others
said their support depends on what ends up in the bill.

Campbell said the Governor’s Office didn’t warn him about the
abortion measure, which rumors said would be added to a health-care bill
in a conference committee Tuesday.

The committee never discussed the bill, however.

* * *

Democrats are growing frustrated over Gov. Jan Brewer’s struggle to get
her Medicaid-expansion proposal into the Legislature and say efforts to
appease reluctant Republican lawmakers with anti-abortion legislation
threaten their support.

* * *

Democrats form the base of support for Brewer’s plan to expand
health-care eligibility for Arizona’s poor and disabled under the
state-federal program.

But House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix, said their
support is not guaranteed if expansion is weighed down with other policy

* * *

Campbell questioned whether Brewer and her supporters, which include
the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and the health-care industry, have ever
had a strategy to get expansion through the Legislature.

“It’s very hard for us to trust the Governor’s Office, at this
point,” Campbell said. “She never had a plan for this. And now, to try
to pander to Cathi Herrod, she’s jeopardizing Democratic support.”

Brewer and legislative leaders have said they oppose punting the
Medicaid issue to a special-election ballot. But as the session drags on
without an expansion agreement or a fiscal 2014 state budget deal, some
lawmakers are saying they don’t see another way out.

[Arizona Republic columnist Robert Robb proposed Time to punt on Medicaid.}

“The way this will turn out all right, I think unfortunately, is if
it’s a referral (to the ballot),” Campbell said. “I don’t see a pathway
to (legislative) victory for this.”

* * *

Jim Drake, assistant secretary of state, said he has fielded a couple
of queries from legislators and staff about a possible Medicaid ballot

His office needs about 90 days and roughly $8 million to prepare for
and conduct a statewide special election. It would require separate
legislation to set the date, appropriate the funds and make other
changes to allow consolidated polling places and other streamlining.

If possible, he said, it should be held on one of four dates already set aside for municipal, county and school issues.

It could piggyback, for example, on Phoenix city elections scheduled for November.

But Senate President Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, a staunch expansion
opponent, has said he won’t allow the Senate to refer the issue to the

And Benson said the governor also opposes the idea.

* * *

Brewer last year signed legislation to defund abortion providers, but
Planned Parenthood and the ACLU filed suit and, in February, a federal
judge put House Bill 2800 on hold.

In hopes of avoiding another legal challenge, Herrod has suggested
language that would apply only to expansion funds, prohibiting those
dollars from being used to “perform, assist or encourage abortion or to
directly or indirectly subsidize abortions services or administrative
expenses relating to abortions or to refer for abortions.”

It’s unclear whether such a bill would have much practical impact.
Federal and state laws prohibit public funding for abortions except in
cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is at risk.

And Medicaid expansion would not affect pregnant women, who are
covered under a separate category within the Arizona Health Care Cost
Containment System, the state’s Medicaid program.

But political observers say there could be a larger political risk in
not placating Herrod, whose conservative, Christian-based group wields
significant influence with GOP lawmakers.

The question becomes whether Democrats will be willing to vote
against an abortion bill, in whatever form it takes, and still vote for

Rep. Eric Meyer, D-Paradise Valley, an emergency-room physician, said
that, depending on how it’s written, the measure could jeopardize
federal Medicaid funding for a hospital or any other health-care
provider that performs an emergency abortion to save a woman’s life.

“You’re making a deal with the devil,” he said. “You put hospitals
and providers in this position of making a choice between providing
appropriate medical care that’s guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution
and taking Medicaid dollars.

“The reality is, this is directly tied to the (Medicaid) restoration.
We’re supportive of the restoration, but we don’t want all these
strings attached. And this is one of those strings.”

It is also disrupting the state budget process.

Rep. Heather Carter, R-Cave Creek, who’s leading the
Medicaid-expansion push in the House, agreed that a go-slow approach is
warranted given that billions of dollars and thousands of lives are at

But she said that as the impasse continues to hold up a new state
budget, that makes life uncertain for teachers, state workers and others
who depend on it.

Schools, in particular, need to complete their spending plans and let staff know if they’ll have jobs next fall, she said.

“When we’re looking at the most important decision that Arizona has
made since the original Medicaid (was approved), this takes time. And it
should take time,” Carter said. “(But) the rest of the state needs to
continue to function.”

Why are we allowing Tea-Publican cowards who quake in fear at the sight of Mullah Cathi Herrod and her Christian Taliban dictate policy in this state? You don't see any Democrats fearful of these radical extremists. Why are we allowing radical extremists to hold this state hostage over some fictional concern about abortion? These Tea-Publican cowards need to stand up and fight back against this act of terrorism.