by Jim Nintzel
It looks like we may be able to get some federal funds to keep from dumping more than 300,000 people from the AHCCCS rolls—if lawmakers don't change the eligibility standards as part of a desperate budget maneuver of questionable legality in a rush to pretend to balance the budget by the end of the week.
Rep. Kyrsten Sinema dropped this e-mail today:
Yesterday in Approps I mentioned that the Senate was expected to pass the FMAP extension bill today. As we debated the budget in Approps, the Senate voted on cloture to end debate and bring the bill to the floor. Today the bill came up for a vote. The bill just passed the full Senate by a vote of 62-36, with 5 Republican members joining Democrats in voting yes (Sens. Bond (MO), Collins (ME), Murkowski (AK), Snowe (ME), Vitter (LA)). The bill has moved to the House, where it is expected to pass tomorrow and be on the President’s desk as early as Friday.
There’s no need to jeopardize Arizona’s standing to qualify for these funds. I urge you all NOT to vote to roll back Prop 204 this week — doing so jeopardizes our ability to qualify to receive over $400 million for health care in Arizona — dollars that will be dollar-for-dollar supplanted in our current AHCCCS spending. In short, these dollars will actually bring us MORE money than the current budget proposal plans to save by cutting AHCCCS for over 320,000 people. We should NOT take shortsighted, foolhardy action this week when the federal stimulus dollars will be approved within days.
Here are the details on the American Workers, State and Business Relief Act.