Laurie Roberts on the need for Medicaid (AHCCCS) restoration


Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

It looks as if the GOP insane clown posse rally against Governor Jan Brewer's Mediciad (AHCCCS) restoration plan did not sit well with the voice of the GOP establishment, the Arizona Republic's Laurie Roberts. The only exception I take is that the Tea Party tools she names would relish being the one to inform people that they are being kicked off of AHCCCS. Roberts gives them way too much credit for being caring human beings. Why is Medicaid expansion even an issue at this point?:

Arizona Republicans in the Legislature held a press conference this morning to denounce Gov. Jan Brewer’s proposal to expand Medicaid to insure nearly 300,000 people, all  without doing massive damage to the state’s budget.

I wish I’d gone because I would have loved to ask those who oppose Brewer’s plan one simple question:

Which of you wants to be the one to inform 63,000 childless adults in this state  – people whom voters in 2000 said they wanted to cover with AHCCCS – that they’re being cut off?

Which of you wants to pull the plug on treatment for 5,000 cancer patients and for 2,000 people who suffer from serious mental illness?

Step right up.  You, President Biggs?  You, Rep. Montenegro? How about you, Sen. Ward?

That’s certainly an option, if the Arizona Legislature decides to terminate coverage for childless adults under the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System. We can cut them loose and leave them to get what medical care they can in emergency rooms, sticking the hospitals with bills that won’t be paid and the rest of us with the resulting rise in insurance premiums.

Or,  the Legislature could continue the enrollment freeze and shell out $850 million in state funds over three years to cover the 63,000 people left in the program. As of this morning, we know that the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will no longer be providing the 2-for-1 federal match if the enrollment cap remains, leaving the state to pick up the entire tab. [See Feds say no to funding a leaner Arizona Medicaid.]

There are other options. Our leaders can:

–  Restore AHCCCS coverage for all childless adults — 240,000 people — in order to keep the 2-for-1 federal match, at a cost to the state of $1.3 billion over three years.

– Or restore coverage to the 240,000 childless adults living in poverty and expand coverage to 57,000 more Arizonans who earn up to 135 percent of the federal poverty line. Cost to the state: nothing.  In fact, Brewer’s office estimates we would save $100 million over three years, as the federal government picks up the bulk of the tab through Obamacare.

Sooooo ….we can do nothing and cover nobody. I’ll take nominations for who should have to inform the 5,000 cancer patients and 2,000 seriously mentally ill that we’re snipping their lifeline.

Or we can cover 63,000 Arizonans now receiving AHCCCS at a cost of $850 million over three years.

Or we can cover 240,000 at a cost of $1.3 billion.

Or we can cover 297,000 people and actually save the state $100 million.

Why is this an issue again?



  1. It has become obvious that Kelli Ward cannot think unless ALEC, Goldwater, and Grover Norquist give her the idea. Even hospitals in her own district support the expansion because of the large number of uninsured they get no compensation for. In each large city in Mohave County, there is only one hospital.