Al Melvin: End AHCCCS in Arizona

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Sen. Al Melvin's crusade against the poor and sick took a new turn yesterday. He voted in support of Sen. Andy Biggs' proposal to end the entire AHCCCS program in Arizona.

We're not talking about just scaling back the expansion of health-care to 100 percent of federal poverty level that Gov. Jan Brewer supports. We're talking about the entire health-care support system for the indigent in the state.

From the Arizona Republic:

Biggs, R-Gilbert, said the state can't afford the program and the taxpayer-funded program makes people dependent on "socialized medicine."

Sen. Rich Crandall, R-Mesa, said the reality is that if the state ended the program as of Oct. 1, "by Christmas, there won't be any rural hospitals."

He urged a more deliberate study if the state is serious about such a move. "You don't replace your entire health-care system with a couple of urgent care centers inside a Wal-Mart." However, in a 1:30 a.m. vote, the committe voted 8-5 to move the bill to the full 30-member Senate.

Read the whole thing here.

As the Republic noted earlier this year, dumping AHCCCS entirely would mean the loss of $7.5 billion in federal matching funds for the state, which would pretty much cripple the hospitals that we all depend on.

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