ASBA's Support of Medicaid Expansion
Friday, April 5, 2013
Posted by: Rick Murray, CEO
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the temporary tax will be repealed as planned on May 31st.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.