Gov. Brewer pushes through ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion in Arizona

posted at 8:01 pm on June 13, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Another one bites the dust. — and largely thanks to a governor who, once upon a time, was an outspoken opponent of ObamaCare. Per Politico:

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer muscled her way to victory in her crusade for Medicaid expansion Thursday, outmaneuvering conservative opposition to push through a key piece of President Barack Obama’s agenda.

Over the objection of Republican legislative leaders, a coalition of moderate Republicans and Democrats sent Brewer a bill on Thursday extending Medicaid to an estimated 300,000 low-income uninsured Arizonans, transforming the state into the unlikeliest of Obamacare allies at a critical time for the White House.

The vote is the end of a chapter, though not the book, on Obamacare in Republican-led Arizona, where Brewer defied — and sometimes confounded — her base. She not only supported the Medicaid expansion, but took extraordinary measures to push for its passage. Other GOP governors who backed Medicaid were not nearly so emphatic in fighting back against balky Legislatures.

Brewer, however, spoke loudly and carried a big stick — crisscrossing the state to promote expansion and shame detractors. This month she started vetoing a stream of unrelated bills to pry her top priority loose from Republicans, and she brought them back into special session.

Oof. The specially assembled legislators in the state House passed the bill in the wee hours of the morning, and the Senate followed through this afternoon, after which her office released the following statement:

I am grateful to the Arizona lawmakers who have acted with courage and conviction by completing the people’s business.

With landmark votes today in the House and Senate, legislators have tackled the issue that is Job One every session — adoption of a responsible State budget — and enacted Arizona’s most sweeping health care legislation in decades. …

This Medicaid Restoration Plan does not solve all of Arizona’s health care challenges. But it will extend cost-effective care to Arizona’s working poor, using the very tax dollars our citizens already pay to the federal government. it will help prevent our rural and safety-net hospitals from closing their doors. And it will boost our economy by creating more than 20,000 jobs at a time when Arizona needs them most.

Uh huh. Brewer certainly isn’t the only Republican governor to fall in behind rapacious domino-effect of state-by-state Medicaid expansion, one of the biggest and most expensive components of ObamaCare — Susana Martinez and Chris Christie in the more blue-leaning New Mexico and New Jersey, as well as John Kasich in Ohio and Rick Scott in Florida — but it certainly looks like she put up the most impressively aggressive fight in the law’s favor.

Some apt closing reminders about the Medicaid-expansion provision, courtesy of Philip Klein at the Washington Examiner:

Though federal taxpayers pay for 100 percent of the Medicaid expansion at first, over time, that percentage dwindles to 90 percent, exposing states to a huge financial burden. In 2012, Medicaid already accounted for 24 percent of state budgets nationwide, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers, making it larger than than any other component of spending, including education. The expansion of Medicaid is projected to cost $710 billion over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office, but it could be more if more Republican governors such as Brewer fight successfully to expand the program. Last month, a major study found that Medicaid does not approve the physical health of its beneficiaries.

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I’d call my Senators, but what would be the point? McCain,,, Flake?

Big gubmint.

wolly4321 on June 13, 2013 at 10:32 PM on June 13, 2013

…(maybe I’ve had you wrong…you seem ok today!)

KOOLAID2 on June 13, 2013 at 10:39 PM

It’s like everywhere else. The cities are 2/3rd’s dem. The rest of the land the opposite. Gerrymandered for. Effect.

In Tuscon our city council is 7-0 dem. We are screwed up. We have a drunk, a lesbian, a turncoat, a la raza, and the rest just play for the money.

wolly4321 on June 13, 2013 at 10:41 PM

I just thought I’d point it out, yet again…

ExpressoBold on June 13, 2013 at 10:05 PM

haha ^5! :)

Anti-Control on June 13, 2013 at 10:49 PM

BTW,, thanks for covering this Erika. It rocked our State. It’s a big deal to us.

I give you credit. You follow a lot that others don’t.

Off the board is good. ;)

wolly4321 on June 13, 2013 at 10:51 PM

Spitting mad at Brewer and the RINOs. They can count on my staunch opposition to any thumping they do in the future and my doing everything in my power to see the, or those they support defeated in future primaries.

AZfederalist on June 13, 2013 at 11:24 PM

Michigan will be next. The GOP has the audacity to wonder I no longer send them any greenback?

shar61 on June 14, 2013 at 12:03 AM

Rome’s burning. Party on!

WitchDoctor on June 14, 2013 at 12:39 AM

Hang in there & keep fighting, advocates for liberty in AZ.

Cross her off the favorable governor list, though.

22044 on June 14, 2013 at 12:57 AM

John Roberts reversed course and declared Obama Care constitutional.
Chris Christy gets chummy with Obama.
Jan Brewer turns on her base and embraces Obama Care.

Wow, all the incriminating evidence dug up by the NSA surveillance program certainly has been put to use by Obama. How else can you explain such reverses?

Black Mail

The Rock on June 13, 2013 at 9:07 PM


But I’d bet it’s more along the lines of human nature which goes along the lines that in some situations vices dominate and people just indulge either their inner petty tyrant or just surrender to stupidity…and with people at these political levels it affects a lot more people.

John Roberts suffers from chief justitis.

Chris Christie might really be a bluedog democrat he just hasn’t come out of the closet yet.

Jan Brewer indulged her petty tyrant.

That’s also why we have elections…so we can get rid of them when their mistakes are too catastrophic or numerous or they have been corrupted.

Politicians have feet of clay.

workingclass artist on June 14, 2013 at 1:11 AM

Why are we surprised by seeing many conservatives suddenly making 180 degree turns all of a sudden? Obama’s and his NSA snoops have enough goods on everybody that nobody is save from blackmail or intimidation.

What do you think happened to General Petraeus?

What do you think happened to John Roberts at the Supreme Court with the Obamacare decision?

Axion on June 14, 2013 at 5:07 AM

What do you think happened to General Petraeus?

What do you think happened to John Roberts at the Supreme Court with the Obamacare decision?

Axion on June 14, 2013 at 5:07 AM

Best explanation I’ve seen.

dogsoldier on June 14, 2013 at 6:03 AM

libertarian looking better all da time.

losarkos on June 13, 2013 at 10:18 PM

I’m already there.

The list of GOP candidates who can get my vote is becoming very short indeed.

DRayRaven on June 14, 2013 at 6:10 AM

“Though federal taxpayers pay for 100 percent of the Medicaid expansion at first, over time, that percentage dwindles to 90 percent, exposing states to a huge financial burden.” Excuse me, but is there a second set of taxpayers out there that only pay federal tax? Last time I looked I am a federal, state, and local taxpayer. Why does the press distinguish between the federal taxpayer? It gives the impression that federal dollars are somehow “free” when it comes to state budgets. No. They are not. The press may love to distinguish between federal, state, and local tax dollars but it all comes from my one wallet.

stop2think on June 14, 2013 at 6:50 AM

Makes me wonder how screwed AZ’s budget must be in other places that she fought so hard for the federal Medicaid money. There is cause and effect in everything. Makes more sense to me that she’d be papering over some other massive hole and giving herself time to get out before the people realize how bad it really is, rather than just completely reversing ciurse for no reason.

aic4ever on June 14, 2013 at 7:29 AM

I would understand her stance if she just came out and said it is all about fed money vs state money. Touting the benefits of medicaid and the program makes her look like lackey for the regime.

FireBlogger on June 14, 2013 at 8:27 AM

This Brewer is a nutcase.

Sherman1864 on June 14, 2013 at 10:16 AM

The only real job of bureaucracies is to grow. Governments are bureaucracy. Governments never meaningfully fail to do their job, that is to grow, absent extraordinary external pressures such as a revolution.

We are seeing that in action. Welcome to Western Greece, formerly the United States of America, a small constrained government Republic.

Can we manage a peaceful revolution such as ended the Soviet Union? Let is pray.


herself on June 14, 2013 at 7:01 PM