On June 13, 2013, the Arizona State Legislature agreed on the final details of legislation restoring Proposition 204 coverage and expanding the state's Medicaid program to other "working poor" Arizonans, and Governor Jan Brewer signed the legislative package into law June 17. The new law builds the new coverage into Arizona's successful AHCCCS program and relies on a hospital assessment to leverage the federal funds necessary to make the package financially work without a major new investment from Arizona taxpayers.
It is a major policy achievement–in particular for those Arizonans who are uninsured, or who would be if scheduled coverage rollbacks went into effect. This human need, more than anything else, is why this Association, and so many hospitals across the state, supported and worked to pass this legislation as the most important healthcare issue before the State Legislature in 30 years.
It also is an important development for the overall healthcare field, adding new funding to the system after several years of stress related to the economic decline in the nation and state. For many of our hospitals, it is a major aid–not because of any financial windfall, but rather because it will help tamp down rapidly rising uncompensated care costs. This was particularly important as hospitals face the scheduled implementation of funding cuts related to Medicare.
AzHHA thanks and commends Governor Brewer and the many legislators on both sides of the aisle who stood up to take action for what is best for Arizona. Also to be recognized are the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, the several issue coalitions that formed around this proposal, and the hundreds of organizations that came together over the course of the past session to unite in working toward passage–including, of course, our member hospitals, their leaders and able staff!
Thank you, all!
President and Chief Executive Officer
The Arizona Patient Education Center is an initiative developed by the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association to provide consumers the best resources available to make informed decisions about hospital pricing, patient safety and other helpful tips. Our goal is to provide consumer resources in a central location in a user-friendly format. AzHHA strives to make the healthcare delivery system transparent so patients can find affordable and accessible healthcare options.