Arizona House holds 1st Medicaid expansion hearing - New York News

Arizona House holds 1st Medicaid expansion hearing

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By BOB CHRISTIE
Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) - Gov. Jan Brewer's plan to expand the state's Medicaid plan under provisions of the federal health care overhaul was praised and panned at its first legislative hearing Wednesday.

The hours-long House Appropriations Committee meeting included heartfelt pleas from patients asking lawmakers to back the increase, a comparison of Brewer to Judas by the head of the Maricopa County Republican party and a spirited debate between Republicans and Democrats lawmakers.

The hearing highlighted the rough road Brewer's plan faces.

Expanding the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (access) is 1 of Brewer's top priorities but is opposed by many fellow Republicans. She's leaning on the GOP-controlled Legislature to pass the legislation.

Her plan adds about 300,000 poor Arizonans to the plan, paid for by a hospital assessment and the federal government.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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