YUMA, AZ -
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer visited Yuma Thursday to deliver the State of the
State Address at Arizona Western College.
Once an opponent of the
so-called "Obamacare" health law, the governor is now proposing an expansion to
the state's Medicaid program. Governor Brewer's speech lasted about 45 minutes.
briefly spoke about her plans to increase funding for schools and child
protective services while reducing sales taxes for small businesses. But her
main focus was to promote the expansion of the state's Medicaid program.
"Nor can we simply wag our
finger at the federal government," said Brewer. "Trust me, I tried
Governor Brewer reminded a full
house at Arizona Western Colleg, mostly supporters, of her famous finger
pointing at President Obama last year.
But now the governor says she
will push for state lawmakers to support her proposal to expand Medicaid, a key
component of President Obama's health care reform law.
Under the Affordable Care Act,
the federal government will pay the full cost of covering 57,000 newly eligible
individuals from 2014 to 2016.
"Try as we might, the law
was upheld by the United States Supreme Court. The President was re-elected and
his party controls the United States Senate," said Brewer. "In short,
the Affordable Care Act isn't going anywhere, at least not for the time
Governor Brewer says expanding
Medicaid means other states will not claim the federal dollars allocated to
As a result, Arizona will save
general fund dollars to create more jobs and insert $2 billion into the
"Under the current system,
these costs are passed along to Arizona's families. Healthcare premiums are
raised year after year to account for expenses secured by our hospitals as they
provide care to the uninsured," said Brewer. "This amounts to a
hidden tax, estimated at nearly $2,000 per year per family."
Now the question remains, will
she gain support from republican lawmakers who are against Obamacare.
During her state of the state,
she called on voters to contact their state representative to tell them to
support her proposal.
State Senator Don Shooter of
Yuma says he wants to see more numbers before he makes a final decision on
whether or not he'll vote in favor of the governor's proposal to expand
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