Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
More than a million Arizonans are dependent upon AHCCCS for health care. Nearly half of poor in AHCCCS hold jobs.
Good luck with this plan: Brewer may push for special election on AHCCCS, Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required):
Gov. Jan Brewer has insisted repeatedly during the past year that the Legislature has the authority to cut spending for Arizona’s Medicaid program below the level that voters thought they had locked 10 years ago. But she appears to have shifted strategy and is planning instead to ask voters to approve the cuts in a special election.
While speaking to reporters on Nov. 29, Brewer said she may seek a special election to get voter approval for cuts to the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS). Many legal experts say the proposed cuts would violate Proposition 204, which voters passed in 2000 to expand Arizona’s Medicaid program.
“There’s a possibility we’ll have a special election,” Brewer said following the official statewide canvass of the Nov. 2 election at the Secretary of State’s Office. “That’s one of the options that we’re looking into.”
Brewer spokesman Paul Senseman ... said Brewer may seek voter approval, “Just so it’s abundantly clear, legally.”
But Senseman did not say what led the governor to deviate from her longstanding message on Prop. 204, or why she would risk rejection at the polls if a special election wasn’t needed. He acknowledged that voter rejection of any AHCCCS cuts would likely nix the entire plan.
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Many legal scholars and attorneys said cuts to AHCCCS would likely be overturned by the courts. Not only that, but cuts to AHCCCS may put the state at odds, again, with the federal government.
Before Brewer can contemplate a special election, the state must get permission from the federal government to make the cuts, which would violate the health care law passed by Congress in March. The law includes a maintenance-of-effort provision that prohibits states from scaling back their Medicaid programs.
Brewer said she will seek a waiver from the federal government, which would allow the state to cut about $1 billion from the AHCCCS budget. Some Republican lawmakers said they will enact the cuts, regardless of whether the feds lift the maintenance-of-effort provision, but Brewer would not say whether she would veto such legislation.
“That’s hypothetical. I don’t know if I can move forward and give you an answer on that today,” Brewer said.
If Arizona made the cuts without permission, the federal government could retaliate by stripping the state of about $7.5 billion per year in Medicaid funding.
Gov. Brewer and her Brewercare "death panels" has become a regular feature on Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Arizona Rep. Anna Tovar (D-LD 13), herself a transplant recipient (stem cells and bone marrow) was Olbermann's guest interview in this segment.
Rush Transcript (intro):
The first man to be denied an organ transplant by the Arizona Republican death panel died on Sunday. The death of Mark Price, a father, not yet 40, was caused by complications related to his leukemia and chemotherapy, chemotherapy which had to succeed before his bone marrow transplant could take place. The death panel, therefore, not responsible in this case for Price's death.
But In our third story tonight, the head of the death panel, Arizona governor Jan Brewer reacted to Mr. Price's passing, to his crusade against the state's decision stripping coverage for three transplants, defended her death panel and explained that Arizona's death panel considers life saving organ transplants "optional." Don't take my interpretation for it. Listen to governor Brewer herself, 24 hours after Mr. Price passed away giving the death panel rationale for rationing care because organ transports are, quote, "optional."
Brewer: "The state only has so much money, and we can only provide so many optional kinds of care. And those were one of the options that we had taken the liberty to discard, to dismiss."
We have reported on this news hour about Arizona families abandoned by the governor's death panel. Fathers Francisco Fellx and Randy Shephard, stripped of their state Medicaid coverage for the organ transplants they need, liver and heart. They are hardly the only ones, an estimated 95 other people in Arizona right now are waiting for life saving organs. 95 people who will denied them because Arizona's Republican legislature and Republican governor decided earlier this year to remove those transplants from state medicaid coverage.
That decision based on false information provided by two companies, one owned by United Health Care, included claims that many of the transplants do not work, transplants including bone marrow. Even though some Republican legislators acknowledge the lie beneath their vote and are calling for a re-vote on the issue, Governor Brewer has rejected bipartisan calls for a special session of the legislature to fix her mess, at a cost of about $5 million, claiming she cannot use any of the more than $30 million in stimulus funds she has because those funds she says have already been allocated elsewhere.
Allocated. not spent. Allocated how? She refuses to say. So far not complying with requests for public records by local newspapers and others. Allocated by Brewer as recently as two days before she yanked the transplant money to instead spend it on things like a $2 million center to study algae as an alternative fuel. Responding to Price's death and his family's crusade to cover more people, governor Brewer called for a different response, a special election to cut more people from state Medicaid. 300,000 to be left without any insurance whatsoever. (See above).
Rep. Tovar's interview follows in the video clip above.