Brewer Plans To Keep Fighting Medicaid Expansion Challenge

Published: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 9:41am

Gov. Jan Brewer says she plans to appeal a Court of Appeals ruling allowing a challenge to this year’s expansion of the state’s Medicaid system.

The expansion to anyone up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $27,000 a year, is funded by what the governor calls a hospital assessment.

Republican legislative leaders maintain the assessment amounts to a tax, and a two-thirds vote of the legislature should have been required for approval. They filed suit and the appellate court held the suit could continue, a decision Brewer believes is wrong.

“All Arizonans should be concerned by the court's decision which could prevent the state's ability to restore quality, cost-effective health care to tens of thousands through our model program, the AHCCCS program,” Brewer said.

The appellate judges are not blocking the state from expanding AHCCCS, but say if the state’s costs are being funded by what amounts to a tax, the constitutional requirement for a two-thirds vote cannot be ignored.

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