Ariz. Court Weighs Medicaid Expansion Suit; Ark. Program Faces Uphill Battle
Also, in Ohio, the governor's office says he plans to continue the expansion, but Republicans in the state legislature may want to change course.
The New York Times:
Arizona: Court Hears Arguments Over Medicaid
A rift between Gov. Jan Brewer and state legislators in her own party over her support of Medicaid expansion played out before the State Supreme Court on Thursday. (Rojas, 11/6)
The Associated Press:
Arizona Supreme Court Hears Medicaid Arguments
The Arizona Supreme Court had tough questions for Gov. Jan Brewer's lawyers on Thursday as they tried to convince the justices to overturn a decision allowing a challenge to her Medicaid expansion plan to proceed. Two justices sharply questioned how throwing out the suit would not "eviscerate" a state constitutional requirement that tax increases require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature. Brewer wants a suit filed by 36 fellow Republicans in the Legislature challenging the 2013 law to be dismissed, as a superior court judge ruled in February. But the Arizona Court of Appeals revived the suit in April, saying their arguments that lawmakers lacked legal standing to sue didn't hold up. (Christie, 11/6)
The Associated Press:
GOP Sweep Clouds Arkansas Medicaid Plan's Future
Republicans' sweeping victory in the midterm election further clouds the future of Arkansas' compromise Medicaid expansion, with voters backing several candidates who vowed to end a first-in-the-nation program providing coverage to thousands of poor residents. Democrats and Republicans alike acknowledge the state's "private option" expansion faces an uphill fight after Tuesday's election. Republican Gov.-elect Asa Hutchinson told reporters Thursday he's still reviewing whether to push for the program's reauthorization next year, and said he won't announce a decision until late January at the earliest. (DeMillo, 11/6)
Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Medicaid Expansion Will Be In John Kasich's Next Budget Plan, But Will GOP Lawmakers Support It?
Gov. John Kasich's budget proposal next year will ask to continue Medicaid expansion, though it's unclear whether legislative Republicans will overcome their prior opposition and approve funding for it. ... Rep. Ron Amstutz, a Wooster Republican, said the real goal should be to reduce the number of Ohioans dependent on Medicaid. Education can help, Amstutz said, "But you can have educated barbarians that don't know how to get up in the morning and you know, are on drugs. There's a lot of things that happen to people -- they have mental health problems. These are things that we can come together on." Amstutz told reporters afterward that he didn't mean to use the term "educated barbarians" as a pejorative. Instead, he said, he was referring to graduates of top universities who are struggling with issues such as alcoholism or mental health problems. (Pelzer, 11/6)
Kasich Will Try To Keep Medicaid Expansion In New Budget
Gov. John Kasich’s next budget proposal will continue expanded Medicaid coverage for hundreds of thousands of low-income Ohioans, but whether majority Republicans who opposed the plan last year will support it this time remains to be seen. State Budget Director Tim Keen said yesterday that the two-year executive budget plan, which will be rolled out on Feb. 2, will include Medicaid spending that includes expansion. His comments were made in Columbus at the post-election conference Impact Ohio. A key GOP leader in the Senate was noncommittal, saying he wants to know whether tax-funded health care is helping to lift the poor from poverty. (Candisky, 11/7)