PHOENIX – (KSWT News 13) – Arizona Senator Don Shooter says he's not willing to fully commit to Governor Jan Brewer's Medicaid Restoration Plan until he sees it in writing.
This, despite Brewer announcing the details of her plan during her State of the State address, and despite the fact Shooter accompanied the governor when she visited Yuma in late January.
Brewer was promoting her plan, claiming it would pump nearly two billion dollars into the state's economy, and save rural hospitals like Yuma Regional Medical Center from losing millions.
Political ads are running to back Brewer's decision to take the heat off from fellow Republicans. Brewer is packaging the acceptance of "Obama Care" money as her "Medicaid Restoration Plan."
Besides pumping nearly two billion dollars of federal funding into the state of Arizona, Brewer says it would provide health insurance to as many as 300,000 people who currently don't have access to it.
The move is unpopular with state Republicans, who have been staunch opponents of National Health Care Reform (a.k.a. "Obama Care") alongside Brewer, until she reversed her position.
Shooter says we've created a health care system that's unsustainable.
"It's foolishness. We have created a model for hospitals that says look, you have to treat everybody, and oh, by the way, we're not going to pay you," says Shooter.
But Shooter acknowledges the possible benefits.
"It actually could help on the budget, because it is an assessment and that's another word for a tax, but it's a self imposed tax. The industry's saying we can do this and then we use that to draw down federal funds."
But Shooter doesn't believe it's a permanent fix to our third party payment system of health care.
"The dilemma is this. What do you do? Do you keep going with this model, which in my opinion is unsustainable, or is this a temporary solution until Obama Care takes over?" asks Shooter.
Shooter isn't a fan of either option, and he's not committing to Brewer's plan … at least, not yet.
"I like the governor. I support a lot of what she does. I think she's a great lady, but I'm reserving my judgment until I see the bill or the plan," explains Shooter.
If Arizona doesn't take the nearly two billion dollars in federal funding, another state will get it. And, it's a tax Arizonans will pay, regardless of whether they benefit from it or not.
That leaves state Republicans in a difficult spot.
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