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News & Press: Arizona Business News Updates

ASBA's Support of Medicaid Expansion

Friday, April 5, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Rick Murray, CEO
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Medicaid Expansion: I received a number of comments last week regarding ASBA’s support of Medicaid expansion in Arizona, many of them questioning the decision.

First let me say, I appreciate when I hear back from members. They are truly well received and appreciated. The truth is we too are not enamored with the proposal. If we or someone else would have come up with a better alternative we would be supporting it but unfortunately, none exists. We can all agree that there is nothing free and that the federal government will either tax or borrow the money to pay for the expansion. Regardless if we expand Medicaid in Arizona or not, the federal government will spend the money and Arizonans we will have to pay for it. We are trying to make the best out of a bad situation.

Please know however, that we will aggressively hold the legislature to the circuit breaker if and when the federal government reduces its funding. We’ve done this before. ASBA supported Proposition 100, the temporary 1 cent-per-dollar increase, three years ago, and we took a lot of heat over it. We supported it because it was necessary but more importantly, it was temporary. ASBA was also among the first business organizations to come out against Prop 204, that was on last November’s ballot, attempting to make the tax permanent to fund education. We took a lot of heat for our opposition to 204 as well, but it was the right thing to do and the temporary tax will be repealed as planned on May 31st. Prop 100 worked out well for our state and we strongly believe that Medicaid expansion in our state will too.

Finally, please know that we do not make these decisions lightly. We have a process in place; we study proposals extensively and weigh the pros, cons and potential unintended consequences. We put a lot of time and resources into our public policy efforts and do what we conclude is best for small businesses across the state.

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