(Ted Houston, KFYI News) Yavapai County has become the first county-level government in Arizona to support Gov. Jan Brewer's proposal to expand Medicaid eligibility under President Obama's Affordable Care Act. The county's all-Republican Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to endorse Brewer's plan.
The proposal already has the endorsements of most major business groups in the state, including the health-care industry. Brewer says her plan would make Medicaid benefits available to at least 300,000 more people than are currently eligible for the state's Medicaid program, known as AHCCCS. The federal government would pick up 100% of the cost of the expansion for the first three years, and 90% beginning in the fourth year.
The state's share of any future cost would be covered by a proposed assessment on hospitals. Hospital administrators support the idea.
However, most Republican legislators, who make up a majority of the legislature, are opposed, which puts the passage of the governor's proposal in doubt.
Some GOP lawmakers say they don't want Arizona to have anything to do with "ObamaCare". Others say the state's health care system wouldn't be able to absorb all those additional people who would begin, many for the first time, receiving routine health care.