Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Gov. Jan Brewer held the latest in a series of rallies at the Capitol on Thursday to show she has broad support for her Medicaid (AHCCCS) restoration/expansion plan. Gov. Brewer rallies Medicaid allies:
A growing number of lawmakers in both parties believe the Legislature will pass Brewer’s expansion.
That’s a change from earlier this year, when the main voices heard in the debate were those of conservative Republicans opposed to the expansion, a signature part of President Barack Obama’s heath care overhaul law.
“It’ll get passed,” said Sen. Steve Pierce, R-Prescott, the most outspoken GOP supporter in the chamber. “She’s got the power of the veto and she will be there until she gets it.”
Democrats, who broadly support the expansion, hold 13 of the 30 seats in the Senate. Pierce believes the Senate vote could reach the required two-thirds majority, which would see at least eight Republicans vote in favor of the proposal.
“The governor’s sitting, as I see it, in the catbird’s seat, and she has tools at her command,” said Assistant Minority Leader Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Tucson.
The House, with 36 Republicans and 24 Democrats, may be tighter, but the push being led by Rep. Heather Carter, R-Cave Creek, is gaining traction.
“When we finally put together the package, I believe that we’ll have enough support to pass it,” Carter said Wednesday.
Thursday’s event featured mental-health professionals and patients who said expanding Medicaid would help a vulnerable population that badly needs ongoing treatment. Earlier events brought business leaders — who argued the expansion would boost businesses — and hospitals, doctors groups and patients who would benefit from the new insurance.
Some Republican House members privately say they’re backing the expansion and believe it will pass, but they’re being cautious about making public pronouncements because there is strong conservative [Tea Party and "Kochtopus" astroturf] opposition.
There are the dead-enders opposed to medical care for the disadvantaged who demagogue over the evils of "ObamaCare," and Mullah Cathi Herrod and her Christian Taliban at the Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) who see abortion behind every bill in their fevered imaginations.
House Speaker Andy Tobin doesn’t believe he has the votes to pass the bill, saying Wednesday that he thinks he has lost some member support since the Center for Arizona Policy, a powerful conservative lobbying group that opposes abortion, raised questions about whether the expansion will help subsidize abortion providers. The group has proposed amendments to block that use.
“The answer now is no,” said Tobin, R-Paulden. “And I’m not putting the governor’s language up on the board.”
Medicaid restoration/expansion is a deal too good to pass up. You need to contact your state legislators regularly on this issue and let them know that this is going to be a litmus test for you in 2014. Those Tea Party radical extremists who are oppsed to this Medicaid restoration/expansion plan out of ideological wingnuttery ought to be gone in 2014. The battle lines are drawn, it is time for you to step up and join the fight.