Brewer asked to decide whether to limit Medicaid coverage in AZ - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Brewer asked to decide whether to limit Medicaid coverage in AZ

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Governor Jan Brewer has another big decision to make.

A bill now sitting on Brewer's desk would force able bodied Medicaid recipients to find jobs, or potentially be pushed out of the state's Medicaid program after five years.

Tom Jenney is director of the Arizona Chapter of Americans for Prosperity.

He told CBS5 that setting a limit on government assistance would not only save the state millions of dollars, it would provide an incentive for folks to help themselves.

"Most people in Arizona believe there should be some type of safety net," said Jenney. "But at the same time they believe a social safety net should not turn into a hammock. People should not be able to stay on these programs for years and years."

Last year, the state legislature expanded Arizona's Medicaid program, paving the way for more than 440,000 people to receive health insurance coverage.

The decision was extremely unpopular with conservatives across the state, despite the fact,  it will allow Arizona to receive more than $1 billion in federal funding.

State Rep. Eric Meyer(D- Paradise Valley) said that if the Governor signs HB 2367, more than 140,000 Medicaid recipients will likely lose their coverage because of the 5-year limit.

Meyer told CBS5 that taking away health coverage from our most vulnerable citizens is not only wrong, it will end up costing everyone more money in the form of higher health insurance premiums.

"If we insure these people up front, keep them healthy, keep diabetes and blood pressure in check, then they don't need the E. R. and  don't have strokes and heart attacks," said Meyer.   "It makes no sense to move this bill forward."

Brewer is expected to make a decision on HB 2367 next week.

However, even if the bill is signed into law, it may be rejected by the federal government, if the law does not comply with Medicaid guidelines, Meyer said.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. 

 

 

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