The Arizona Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Medicaid Restoration today. It’s a decision that will touch the lives of roughly 400,000 Arizonans. Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA) President & CEO Greg Vigdor issued a statement on the decision, which you can read below. As always, we encourage you to share your thoughts whether you agree or disagree. Generating meaningful dialogue around the health issues affecting the people of our state is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!
“This is a great day for Arizona, and one we have awaited through a four-year legal fight. At long last, the Arizona Supreme Court has affirmed the constitutionality of 2013 legislation that extended life-saving Medicaid coverage to more than 400,000 Arizonans in need.
“Had the high court instead opted to strike down the law that re-opened Arizona’s Medicaid rolls, the consequences would have been dramatic. Hundreds of thousands of Arizonans would have almost certainly lost Medicaid coverage and, with it, access to routine health services. Arizona hospitals – especially smaller facilities and those in low-income areas – faced the prospect returning to the days when Emergency Rooms were the primary care provider for individuals with no insurance or ability to pay. The State of Arizona would have lost approximately $300 million in annual revenue, contributed via a fee assessed upon hospitals. Mercifully, these eventualities did not come to pass.
“It’s worth remembering the unlikely circumstances that brought us to this point. This legislation was made possible by that rarest of coalitions – urban and rural, Democrat and Republican – and comprised of leaders representing disparate communities of business, healthcare, faith, philanthropy, public safety and much more. Legislators cast difficult votes for which they knew there would be political consequences. We thank then-Governor Brewer for leading this legislation and signing it into law. And we thank Governor Ducey for keeping up its defense on behalf of so many vulnerable Arizonans.
“The Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association is proud to have supported Medicaid Restoration every step of the way. As today’s decision affirmed once more, this effort was the right thing, done the right way and for the right reasons – and Arizona is better for it.”