Arizona and the Senate Healthcare Bill

welcome_arizona_4The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report on the new Senate healthcare bill is expected on Monday, but there is already a lot of talk about the plan…..particularly here in Arizona.

From AzCentral.com:

Sen. John McCain expressed disappointment Thursday that the latest rewrite of the Senate Republican health-care bill did not adequately shield Arizona’s Medicaid system, which would face an estimated $7.1 billion hit by the end of 2026.

Despite McCain’s efforts to insert language to soften the blow to the state, the new bill still would eliminate by 2024 federal money for Arizona and other states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
John_McCain

“Arizona has been nationally recognized for running one of the most efficient and cost-effective Medicaid programs in the country,” McCain said. “This legislation should reward states like Arizona that are responsibly managing their health-care services and controlling costs — not penalize them.”

According to Tucson.com, Sen. McCain issued a statement saying ‘if’ the bill makes it to the Senate floor next week, he will be prepared to offer amendments to it.

“The revised Senate health-care bill released today does not include the measures I have been advocating for on behalf of the people of Arizona,” McCain said. “That’s why if the Senate takes up this legislation, I intend to file amendments that would address the concerns raised by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and other leaders across our state about the bill’s impact on Arizona’s Medicaid system.”

Jeff_FlakeWhile Sen. Jeff Flake signaled his support for one of the plan’s more controversial amendments earlier this week, the Arizona Daily Sun points out he has not yet come out to support or oppose the new bill.

“This week, however, Flake said he supported an amendment offered by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to allow insurers to offer skimpier plan on the individual marketplace. But Flake hasn’t taken a position on the overall bill and told The Arizona Republic Wednesday that his focus is on making individual insurance more affordable.”

Cronkite News added that Medicaid cuts in the bill have some state lawmakers and other state leaders opposing the plan. “A group of Republican legislators, business leaders and doctors in Arizona joined a continuing chorus of opposition to the national health-care bill Thursday, saying it would slash state Medicaid coverage for seniors, children and veterans. Arizona Republican legislators Heather Carter and Michelle Udall, leaders from the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce and doctors oppose the Senate bill.”

Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association President & CEO Greg Vigdor released a short video statement also opposing the bill. You can watch it by clicking on the picture below.

We will continue to follow this developing story and bring you the very latest information as well as how, we believe, the new healthcare bill will affect the people of our state. Whether you agree or disagree with our position, we would love to hear your thoughts. Generating meaningful conversations around important health issues is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!

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