Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is still on her quest to make up much of the state’s $1.1 billion budget shortfall from cuts to Arizona’s Medicaid program. Even though the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka healthcare reform) requires states to keep their current Medicaid eligibility requirements, Governor Brewer has signed emergency legislation which authorizes her to seek a 2-year waiver from the Department of Health and Human Services which would let her cut 280,000 Medicaid recipients from the rolls.
Under Brewer’s waiver request, all 250,000 state Medicaid beneficiaries who do not have children would no longer be eligible, while another 30,000 parents whose annual incomes are more than $10,830 also would lose coverage. It is estimated that about 20% of the state’s current Medicaid recipients would lose their benefits.
“I am mindful of the very real impacts these reductions will have, but given our state’s current fiscal situation and the solutions enacted to date, I truly believe this is Arizona’s only option to restore our fiscal stability,” Brewer said in a news release.
If the Department of Health and Human Services allows the waiver, cuts would begin as early as October 1st and Arizona may be able to save as much as $541 million this year. On the flip side, the state would also lose $1 billion in federal Medicaid matching funds.
Do you think cutting Arizona’s Medicaid rolls will be worth it? Tell us about it!
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