Gov.: Expand Medicaid in Arizona

PHOENIX — Parting ways with her own Republican Party, Gov. Jan Brewer today proposed expanding Arizona’s Medicaid program to take advantage of the federal Affordable Care Act.

In her fifth State of the State speech, Brewer said she shares concerns that expanding eligibility to everyone up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level will end up costing the state a lot more. Arizona now covers most people below 100 percent, about $19,000 for a family of three.

While the federal government has agreed to pick up most of the costs, Brewer said she remains convinced that the money will always be there. So she promises to put “circuit breakers” into the law to ensure Arizona is not stuck with the bill.

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