Governor's Medicaid proposal gets test - Tucson News Now

Governor's Medicaid proposal gets test

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer formally announced this week that she had drafted legislation to put 300,000 on the state's AHCCCS, or Medicaid program.

"We're talking about people's lives," she told a group assembled at the state capitol. "I refuse to stand by6 and allow this many people needlessly suffer especially when we have a solution."

That solution does not sit well with many of her fellow Republicans.

When asked what were the chances of it passing, GOP Pima County Chair Carolyn Cox says "I think the chances are very slim."

Another opponent, Christine Barsema, a small business owner in Southern Arizona says "I am a Republican who is in a majority of REpublicans who oppose Jan Brewer's expansion of Obamacare."

Those were the people outside the public library in downtown Tucson.

Inside, at a forum organized by AHCCCS, it was a different story.

Matt Laos, from the Grand Canyon Institute told the group, "I want to especially thank the governor for proposing the expansion of Medicaid in Arizona."

And he added, "I think she deserves a profiles in courage award."

Another, Lorena Hines, told the group AHCCS provided a needed surgery she could never have afforded.

"Thank you for the support of the government helping us to get the things we need," she said. "That we could not afford at the time."

Michal Goforth, executive director of Pima Community Access, says "It's not about numbers or voters, it's about our neighbors."

The governor's plan will reinstate 300,000 childless adults who were taken off the rolls by Brewer in 2011 to cut the state budget.

Now, as part of the federal government's health care plan, Arizona will stand to gain $1.6 billion to offset the cost of bringing them back on board.

The US Government pays the full cost the first ten years, then the state's pick up a portion.

In the forum, the statements and information will be compiled by the state to give a snapshot of the public's feelings. 

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