Georgetown University Center for Children and Families Researcher Says Arizona Governor's Decision to Expand Medicaid May Signal Tipping Point for States

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The fourth Republican Governor has changed course and decided to expand Medicaid coverage to more uninsured individuals as envisioned by the Affordable Care Act.

Joan Alker, Georgetown University Center for Children and Families

"Governor Brewer's decision underscores that the offer is too good for states to refuse," said Alker.

In her State of the State address yesterday, Governor Jan Brewer said that she will be asking the legislature to move forward with an expansion of the Medicaid program for parents and childless adults to 133% of FPL, according to the Associated Press. The Governor is proposing a provider assessment to pay for the state’s share of the costs and is making the expansion contingent on the federal match remaining at its current generous level.

"Governor’s Brewer decision signals a very significant step forward with respect to states deciding whether or not to extend Medicaid coverage to more uninsured individuals as envisioned by the Affordable Care Act," said Georgetown University Center for Children and Families Director Joan Alker.

Brewer is the fourth Republican Governor (New Mexico, Nevada and North Dakota being the first three) to announce her intentions to accept the generous federal funds to cover more low-income uninsured individuals.

In November, the Governor had submitted a waiver request to the Obama Administration to do a partial Medicaid expansion to 100% of FPL, which was in effect rejected but the Governor agreed to expand to the 133% FPL specified under the health reform law.

"Governor Brewer's decision underscores that the offer is too good for states to refuse," said Alker.

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Cathy Hope
Georgetown University Center for Children and Families
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Elisabeth Burak
Georgetown University Center for Children and Families
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