Jan Brewer's Medicaid Cuts Copacetic, Claim Feds

Inaugeration&SwearIn_5722.jpg
azgovernor.gov
The Obama administration hands Brewer a victory

Governor Jan Brewer seems to have scored a "win," if you can call it that, in her effort to cut hundreds of thousands of childless adults from the state's Medicaid program, otherwise known as the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, or AHCCCS.

Brewer recently signed legislation authorizing her to seek a waiver from Kathleen Sebelius, President Obama's Secretary of Health and Human Services. A letter asking Sebelius to release Arizona from it's commitment was sent out in early February. 

In that letter, Brewer told Sebelius she wanted to reduce or eliminate Medicaid coverage for 280,000 Arizonans, most of them adults sans tots.

Many local Democrats have been skeptical that Sebelius would grant the request, and have criticized Arizona GOPers for attempting to rectify an $800 million budget hole without knowing whether or not the Obama administration would issue a waiver.

But in a letter today to Governor Brewer, Sebelius indicated that Arizona did not need permission from the feds to slash and burn.

Sebelius informed Brewer that,

I do want to make you aware that the MOE provision in the Affordable Care Act does not require Arizona to renew its demonstration as is, beyond its expiration date of September 30,2011.  Waivers are time-limited commitments - both for a state and for HHS - and neither the Affordable Care Act nor Medicaid law or regulations prior to its enactment require a state to renew a demonstration beyond its expiration.  Arizona may choose to terminate its current demonstration on September 30, 2011 and either not pursue a new demonstration or pursue a different demonstration. Any reduction in eligibility associated with the expiration of your demonstration for individuals whose eligibility derives from the demonstration (for example, the childless adult population) would not constitute an MOE violation.

The sound you're now hearing is the death rattle of the uninsured. According to the Grand Old Party, you deserve your fate. The Dems, alas, have no such ideological justification.

Democratic state Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who's been relentless in berating Brewer and the Republicans over the issue, was obviously disappointed by the letter. 

"It would have been wonderful if we'd known this much sooner," she told me. "It's unfortunate to learn it at this late date."

Sinema vowed a lawsuit on behalf of patients cut off from their medical coverage, pointing out that the voters of Arizona approved an expansion of Medicaid benefits in 2000 with Prop 204, and that the governor and the legislature lacked the authority to override that voter-approved mandate.

Sinema said there was one silver lining in the announcement: Brewer had counted on a denial of her request to beat up on the Obama administration, but Sebelius' letter robbed the governor of her punching bag.

"Her plan was to blame the Obama administration for not letting her cut [AHCCCS benefits]," she explained. "She can't say that it's Obamacare that's keeping her from cutting...Now she has to take responsibility for it."

Good point. But if the intended lawsuit fails to secure an injunction preventing the cuts from going into effect, it'll be cold comfort to those trying to survive minus Medicaid.


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18 comments
Angel_imam
Angel_imam

not t hat  it   matters what w  write here    boooooooooooooooooooooooo  jan  i  hope  u  rot

XSoldier
XSoldier

If Jan Brewer got out of Russell Pearce's pocket by not signing his usual bullshit legislation and concentrated on what's at stake here, we may get a balanced budget.

Brewer knows she's got to attract jobs to this state. With SB 1070 (which will be thrown out, and there is precedent, as in a 1915 U.S. Supreme Court decision), and even more useless bullshit legislation coming, she will not attract jobs here.

She'd eliminate entire state programs to balance the budget to cover her ass if that was necessary. We gotta impeach her now!

Earthdayaz
Earthdayaz

KJZZ, our local NPR station, is mis-reporting this new item, as per the usual crappy coverage they provide. They've completely missed the point of the letter from Sebelius - that the State of Arizona doesn't need a waiver, because the "MOE provision in the Affordable Care Act does not require Arizona to renew its demonstration as is, beyond its expiration date of September 30,2011."

They said flat out that the Federal Goverment "approved" the dropping of over 285,000 "meek" individuals from the State's medicare program, AHCCCS. The Federal Government did no such thing.

Please contact KJZZ like I have and demand a correction on their story. They can't get away trying to provide the public with inaccurate reporting!

Any NPR supporters wonder why the republinuts are trying to cut government funding of public broadcasting.kmadison@rioradio.org

Fucking Roosevelt's Fault !!!
Fucking Roosevelt's Fault !!!

"Are you proposing we enact legislation that would allow a certain element of this country to simply lounge around the house and collect a federal monthly check for doing absolutely NOTHNG !!!"... Good Christ, Mr. President, are you completely insane ???Nowhere in the Constitutional doctrine are any provisions made for those who cannot or will not take care of their ownselves. Your proposal is absurd, unworkable, and speaks to the Communist ideal.If the sons-of-bitches can't take care of themselves, well that's just too damned bad for them. Let them go to church and do their begging and whining for charity. The bastards drop over dead in the street, well, then they count on us to at least tidy up their mess.Socialized health care subsidized by Washington, is as stupid an idea as you guaranteeing the safety of bank deposits. FDIC and all this other stuff ?!?!"

"What say, Mr. President ? You mean that the FDIC will also assure we D.C. boys have greater authority over people's private monies and provide us unilateral control over the member bank's properties. And that your Social Security program will create a new tax revenue that will eventually give us billions of extra dollars to misappropriate, while making it look like WE CARE about the common man, even though we don't.And your health care bill gives us a new way to keep control over the public population. Well fuck, where do I sign ???"

WAIT A MINUTE... Am I talking to Franklin D. Roosevelt... or Barack Obama ?

With love and Oxycontins, your Guiding Light, Rush Limbaugh

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

So, this legislature spent 1,000s of dollars passing a law (the waiver request) that it didn't need to if they had JUST READ THE LAW regarding the MOE provision in the Affordable Care Act not being required to be renewed. Sounds like our current group of moronic state legislators have just given yet another example why they should never been allowed near legislation again.

FAIL!

Kit Carson
Kit Carson

> The Dems, alas, have no such ideological justification

Sure they do, the Dems like to follow the law.

No matter what Sebelius or the Dems may think of Brewer, her death panels, or her desire to balance the books on the graves the poor and mentally-ill, Sebelius could only give one answer: it's your call Arizona.

That's the law.

Instead of hoping the federal government comes to our rescue everytime Arizona goes all despotic on its citizenry, the people of Arizone need to get serious about electing credible, intelligent politicians. Seriously, Brewer doesn't even have an associates degree, we can't expect her to be capable of reading and comprehending the nuances of complex laws and regulations.

Demand more, get more!

guest
guest

what is the "sans tots" part about? adults with no children have less to live for, or something like that? wouldn't covering a single adult be cheaper than cradle to grave care for a brood of anchor babies?

Rob
Rob

Honestly, I'm missing the need for this.

According to Jan Brewer, Russell Pearce and the rest of the Republican legislature, 100% of the issues the State has to deal with and 100% of the economic woes in the state are solely to blame on undocumented immigrants. So much so that Arizona apparently can afford to spend millions of dollars filing lawsuits and defending themselves.

There's been more than enough legislation introduced last year and this to drive out the immigrants who are chewing up all our entitlements, flooding our legal system and laying around headless in the desert killing tourism. That 200k of them have left our state in the last two years indicates they are doing a pretty good job of driving them off.

So, why are they now going after actual Arizona citizens?

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

Sorry to post so much, but something keeps bothering me about canceling the health care for the lower members of society and not even reducing health care for those running the State and making the decisions.

This just further widens the societal gap between the have dids and the have not dids.

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

I guess the best approach for the 280,000 that are affected is to go have a baby, quick! That should get you ANCHORED into AHCCCS.

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

It does not seem that Brewer scored a victory. All that was needed was a rational reading of the requirements. It appears that Secretary Sebelius ordered an assessment of where AZ stood and responded factually. For failure to do homework, we have legislation authorizing a waiver request when the waiver was not needed and a much publicized waiver request letter. Not a very effective process. It also takes the ability to bash Obama for bankrupting our state by not granting a waiver away from Brewer. In that, I think she lost what she was most seeking. Arizona has some smart people. It is flabbergasting that this particular interpretation needed to come from HHS. AZ should have interpreted it correctly and sent the interpretation into HHS. By not picking up on this, Arizona was at substantial risk that the interpretation might not come as needed.

With that being said, I am afraid that the 280,000 people will still get emergency care as required and that the funds for that care will just be passed onto the rest of us through increased costs and insurance premiums. Those costs will not be managed as they were in AHCCCS, so I expect far fewer interactions with medical providers, but the costs may be about the same as with these people on AHCCCS. We, the taxpayers will just pay for it in a non-tax pot of money. The Federal matching funds for this portion of AHCCCS banishees will not be there to offset the burden on AZ taxpayers. It is more comfortable for those in power, but it is probably a net break-even for me and the typical taxpaying resident of AZ.

To the extent that there are fewer required medical providers, their collective income will be reduced as will the revenues from their income.

Have there been any real projections on the net effect on Arizona?

Coz
Coz

Arizona, the death State

Sfgfsdg
Sfgfsdg

It's purely a political decision. Have no doubt that Brewer would drop the kids and their parents if she could. Hey - if they were decent people that needed money then they should just open up sham medical clinics, fleece a bunch of people, then flee from prosecutors in that state by coming to this state - that's what she and her husband did.

BTW: it's not cradle to grave. As soon as the kids are 18, they are off as well, unless they have kids as well, or if they have a job.

donavan smith
donavan smith

it was there intention to go after the arizona citizens. SB1070 was just an excuse. Brewer knew it would never pass. There true attention was to get rid of 250,000, otherwise healthy, lazy people. That she could, and they will. iilegals are not given achess, so most of the people are citizens. At the same time, brewer is asking for donation to fight sb1070. That going to her personnel use. She know bigotry is alvie and well, so why not. Thats just the beginning. Veterns, handicapped, indians, and disable, your free ride is about to end too. no stopping brewer, she's on a roll

Angel_imam
Angel_imam

she  did  cut  disabled   a  child   with  birth   defects        g  reat  country   right  its like    the  nazi  taking   jews   to the  death camps  genocide its  called    kill  off the  poor . the  weak . only  the  rich  servive

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