Arizona's Brewer Revises Cuts to Medicaid

Wednesday, 16 Mar 2011 03:23 PM

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Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer proposed a scaled-back plan to cut the state’s Medicaid rolls in a move to close the state’s budget shortfall. The new blueprint would freeze enrollment, require patients to pay more for their care, and reduce how much healthcare providers are paid, the Arizona Republic reported Wednesday. 
 
Brewer originally proposed axing 280,000 people from the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System. In her latest revision, she suggested cutting 120,000 people. She released the 12-part, $500 million plan late Tuesday as the state Senate prepares to pass a budget plan with the more severe cuts.
 
“Nothing about this plan is pain-free," Brewer said in a statement. "But it strikes a balance by creating a Medicaid program that is more fiscally responsible while keeping its core promises to the Arizonans who depend on it."
 
Senate President Russell Pearce, a Mesa Republican, said the state no longer can afford the program in its current form.
 
"We're providing services no other state does," Pearce said. "And even if they're good ideas, there's no money. We're broke."

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