Gov. Brewer signs Medicaid expansion bill

June 17, 2013

Governor Jan Brewer said she is glad the political fight over Medicaid expansion is finally over. The governor signed legislation Monday that adds 300,000 low-income people to state Medicaid under the federal Affordable Health Care Act.

signing Gov. Jan Brewer signed legislation Monday in her efforts to expand Medicaid. (Photo courtesy @GovBrewer via Twitter)

At a capitol ceremony, the governor was flanked by a group of bipartisan lawmakers who pushed the bill through during the final hours of the session.

“This legislation will protect Arizona’s hospitals. It will create thousands of jobs and it will save lives,” said Brewer.

Republican Representative Heather Carter sponsored the measure. She said Arizona has not fully embraced Obama Care, rather it expanded the state’s version of Medicaid known as AHCCCS. 

“We do not have a government health care program. What we do have is 30 years of evidence to show we have found a better and more cost-effective way to serve the health care needs of our most vulnerable citizens,” said Carter.

The state will receive more than $1.5 billion in federal money for initial Medicaid expansion, but opponents are worried about long-term funding for the program. Some want to launch a petition drive to rescind the law, and others are threatening lawsuits to get it overturned. 

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