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May 20, 2013

Arizona State Senate Supports Medicaid Expansion

Good news for the Rainbow Treatment Center White Mountain Apache Tribe and 2,000 Arizonians who joined Governor Jan Brewer’s Medicaid Restoration rally at the state Capitol on Wednesday, May 15.  Their support was met with a favorable outcome: the Republican-controlled Arizona Senate passed an $8.8 billion state budget on Thursday that plays a significant part in the President’s health care overhaul. A handful of Republican members teamed with Democrats to push through Governor Brewer’s top priority of expanding  Medicaid. The Medicaid expansion proposal will add 300,000 Arizonans earning between 100 percent and   138 percent of the federal poverty level to the total 1.2 million currently enrolled in Arizona’s Medicaid program.

This plan will ensure access to health care for thousands of American Indian people in Arizona. These  resources allow the state to alleviate portions of the state budget for other important state programs. The Indian Health Service and Tribal health programs will greatly benefit from the increased levels of Medicaid reimbursement. AI/AN’s with incomes up to 133% FPL that meet the new streamlined eligibility requirements, either enrolled in the American Indian Health Plan or in one of the other Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) health plans will have greater access to much needed health care.