Update on the Special Session for the Budget and Medicaid Expansion
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Posted by: Rick Murray, CEO
Throughout the Medicaid expansion debate, there have been
many references to the Governor’s plan being part of the Affordable Care
Act. Certainly the enhanced funding was
part of the overall legislation, but let’s take a look at some key points that
include Arizona voter mandates.
coverage of Prop. 204 childless adults (0-100% FPL) as passed by Arizona voters
in 2000, impacting estimated 240,000 Arizonans.
- Covers an additional 57,000 adults from
100-133% FPL so that Arizona can access enhanced federal funds for Prop. 204
- Includes a hospital assessment to pay for the
State’s share of the cost of care for the Prop. 204 population.
- With use of hospital assessment, reduces
Medicaid pressure on State budget … making more dollars available for critical
services like education and public safety.
- Features circuit breaker that automatically
ends the assessment and Medicaid expansion if federal matching dollars are
reduced below an amount established in the legislation.
In the next few days, legislators will debate the budget
which will include the Medicaid expansion plan.
Governor Brewer called for a special session. Technically, the session
must last three days, as the Constitution requires that all non-emergency bills
be read on three separate days. However, the natural length of the budget floor
action process, combined with the relatively late start to the proceedings,
makes it likely that today will be a long one, with the third legislative day
beginning shortly after midnight and lasting in to the early morning hours of
This week, the U.S Senate voted to introduce the Border
Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. This is the Gang of 8 bill, authored in part
by Sen. John McCain and Sen. Jeff Flake. This will begin what is expected to be
an approximately three week debate on issues including border security,
high-skilled worker visas, temporary worker visas and E-Verify.
The National Small Business Association is seeking
amendments on the floor of the Senate to improve the bill,
specifically,amendments to simplify the W visa program for small
employers, and a variety of amendments to improve the E-Verify program. Click here for ASBA’s position statement on
The Institute for Legal Reform has released a study which
shows that liability costs in theU.S. are dramatically higher than other
developed countries. U.S. liability costs are 1.66 percent of the Gross
Domestic Product (GDP), over 2 ½ times higher than the European average and 40
percent higher than Canada, the next highest.This translates into annual
costs of approximately $260 billion.
The study considered the costs of claims, whether resolved
through litigation or other claims resolution processes. Non-litigation
claims resolutions would include, for example, resolutions resulting from
arbitrations, the use of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to resolve
claims or payments resulting from pre-litigation negotiated settlements. These high liability costs impede U.S.
economic growth, job creation and innovation. They also make U.S. firms
less competitive against foreign competitors in both the U.S. market and abroad.