So the Guv (you can read her speech here) has proposed an expansion of our state’s Medicaid program, taking advantage of the fed’s largesse, providing us almost $8 billion to basically return our program to its pre-recession status.
As Brewer pointed out, in our current form, hospitals absorb the cost of uninsured patients, but then that cost is, unsurprsingly, transferred to the rest of us, in the form of higher hospital bills and higher insurance premiums. She noted that as is, “This amounts to a HIDDEN TAX estimated at nearly 2 Thousand dollars per family, per year.”
Beyond that, we all know it’s cheaper to deal with medical problems at their inceptions rather than in emergency rooms after the problems have escalated.
And to ensure that Arizona’s not left with shouldering the bill for expansion somewhere down the road, Brewer insisted that her plan will have an opt out if “Obamacare” is what she calls a “bait and switch.”
She even proposed a way to pay our share of the expansion without tapping into the General Fund.
The reaction to all this? Democrats cheered; Republicans looked ill.
So the question becomes, “WWA’sD?”
That is, “What will the Andy’s Do?” The Andy’s being House Speaker Andy Tobin and Senate President Andy Biggs.
The first Andy is less a flame-thrower than the second, which means the House might be more favorable to Brewer’s plan. In the Senate, though, it’s a different story: Biggs previously came out against Medicaid expansion, period.
So how will he handle any bill Brewer pushes? Will he make sure it’s DOA or will he give it a fair shake? And can the Guv peel off enough Republicans in both Houses to get what she wants?
My guess? Biggs is overruled, a few Republicans will go along with the Democrats, and Brewer gets her wish.