Arizona: Medicaid cuts reversed in effort to keep federal funds

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Gov. Jan Brewer (R) (left)
Gov. Jan Brewer (R) (left)
Looking to hang on to an estimated $7.8 billion in federal healthcare funds, the Arizona Legislature has decided not to remove 300,000 enrollees from the state-run Medicaid program.

Both the state's legislature and its governor, Jan Brewer (R), had agreed earlier this year to drastically cut the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), the state-run Medicaid program, and the Children's Health Insurance Program, KidsCare, in an effort to close a $3 billion budget gap. Increases in Medicaid enrollment resulting from a program expansion in 2000, along with lower-than-expected revenue from tobacco taxes and tobacco lawsuits, contributed to at least $1 billion of the budget shortfall.

A “maintenance of effort” in the recently passed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires states to maintain certain levels of healthcare coverage.
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