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There has been much wailing and gnashing about Obamacare in my much loved adopted State of Arizona.  Especially over the Federal expansion of Medicaide, Arizonas version of which is known as AHCCCS (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System) what was a model program in the whole country for how it was run and how many  it covered.  

We were and are one of the few states who covered childless adults/adults with no minor children since we passed Prop 204 ten years back or so.

Follow over the jump for the surprise.

As many know, this population was frozen in the system with those already on AHCCCS being able to stay on (usually) but no new applications were approved.

This happened during the worst of the financial collapse which hit Arizona very hard.Tax receipts were down and republics in  charge so of course the poor were told to BOHICA.

Whether Az was not only going to restory medical care to the prop 204 population but participate in the increase to 133% of the Poverty line was an open question with most watchers opining there wasnt a Snowballs chance in Mesa, but glory be, it looks like we were wrong.....

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer took advantage of her annual State of the State speech to deliver big news: that she plans to agree to a large expansion of the state’s Medicaid program as part of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

The Republican governor’s decision, long awaited by lawmakers and health-care professionals and opposed by many in the GOP, would bring the state an additional $7.9 billion in federal funds over four years to restore and expand the state’s health-care insurance program to an estimated 300,000 low-income residents, according to the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association.

Brewer said the federal government would spend the money across the country anyway, bringing other states jobs, no matter what Arizona decided.

“Saying ‘No’ to this plan would not save these federal dollars from being spent or direct them to bringing down the deficit,” she said. “By agreeing to expand our Medicaid program just slightly, we will protect rural and safety-net hospitals from being pushed to the brink” as they care for the poor and uninsured


There is what she is calling a circuit breaker where if the federal Government cuts funding beyond what is in the bill, AHCCCS will be able to cut enrollment to match which I do not really like but considering the possible outcome, and where we will be when this is enacted, this is the brass ring.  

There is still a lot of the war left but we (maybe) have won this battle..

Originally posted to buddabelly on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 04:34 PM PST.

Also republished by Baja Arizona Kossacks.

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