Governor Grim Reaper’s GOP death panel: No transplant funds for you!

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Screenshot-6 Governor Grim Reaper and her GOP death panel have spoken: No to transplant funds:

Arizonans who lost coverage for lifesaving organ transplants had political winds at their backs last fall, with national media attention and a sympathetic key Republican lawmaker.

But Rep. John Kavanagh's support has evaporated, and there now appears little chance legislators will restore funding to return nearly 100 people to waiting lists for heart, liver, bone-marrow and lung transplants.

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Kavanagh, the House Appropriations Committee chairman, said in November that he was concerned lawmakers had based their decision to deny coverage on flawed data provided by the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, the state's Medicaid program. He said he planned to hold a hearing to consider newer statistics showing better patient outcomes.

Now, he says that the mortality data called into question by leading transplant physicians here and across the country look solid and that additional information provided by the same doctors failed to persuade him to reconsider.

"Almost everybody died," Kavanagh said of certain transplant patients during a budget hearing Wednesday. "That's powerful stuff statistically."

Wow. Mr. Kavanagh sounds just like Joseph Stalin: "The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic." Such humanity, such compassion.

Democrats have introduced four transplant-related bills, and Rep. Anna Tovar (D-Phoenix) is introducing four more today, including a measure to provide private matching dollars from the New Life Foundation for state transplant funding.

Four have been assigned to appropriations panels and the other four are expected to be.

Rep John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, both said Wednesday that they will not hear them, which effectively kills the bills.

"We're not doing the budget in pieces," said Biggs, adding that Gov. Jan Brewer's staff told him she won't consider legislation to restore transplant coverage.

Brewer spokesman Matthew Benson said the governor's position hasn't changed since the transplant cuts took effect Oct. 1.

What Governor Grim Reaper and her GOP death panel are doing is criminal negligence:

The AHCCCS cuts, which included annual physicals, podiatry and emergency dental care, saved $5.3 million this fiscal year, but the state loses about $20 million in matching federal funds. The services are considered optional under Medicaid rules.

Brewer's budget for the coming fiscal year proposes eliminating 280,000 people from AHCCCS to help balance a $1.15 billion budget deficit. Brewer has asked federal health officials for permission to waive a requirement to maintain Medicaid eligibility.

Meanwhile, Biggs has introduced a bill to repeal AHCCCS, which would mean the loss of about $7.5 billion in federal funds.

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